Fundraising briefing: What you missed on your summer holiday

Felicity Spencer Smith

Felicity Spencer-Smith | 5 September 2018

Summer tends to be quieter than the rest of the year, but there were still some bits of news that caught our eye. So whether you’ve been on holiday, busy or asleep over summer, here’s a summary of what you might have missed.


The biggest news this summer - Government released their new Civil Society Strategy in July after consultation and engagement. There are some encouraging ambitions set out in the strategy, such as promoting charitable giving, plans to release £20m from inactive charitable trusts, and new models of community funding. The strategy doesn’t give much detail yet on how this will happen – but assures us that it’s not intended as a final word or fixed statement on their work with civil society.

So it’s a key moment for the sector to build upon the strategy and do even more to further our aims. This is a really good opportunity for charities, funders, communities, and the public sector to work together on what we can do for the long-term. At the IoF, we will continue promoting the priorities of our members to Government and work to shape the outcomes from this strategy. To find out what these are, read Chief Executive Peter Lewis' blog.

Legacy income is on the up - legacy income reached £37.8m in 2017, according to new research by Smee & Ford. Their report, 'Legacy Trends 2018', found that legacy income is between £2.8bn and £2.9bn – the largest ever reported. Plus 6.1% of the population left a bequest in a Will and 122,144 bequests were contained in Wills in 2017.

Remember A Charity Week is right around the corner (10 - 16 September) and is a great opportunity to collectively promote and encourage legacy gifts This year, Remember A Charity will launch ‘Human’, the world’ first charity powered search engine which will answer all the questions that others just can’t. is arriving on the scene from Monday 10 September – watch out Google!

Growth of younger and newer fundraising events - other interesting news on the total income from mass participation events in 2017. Although income from established events has fallen by £4m to £135.5m, these events still topped the 'Massive' Top 25 list, an annual report from the event management firm.

There’s still a big appetite for mass participation fundraising events. ‘Massive’ made the important point that “the bigger they come, the harder they fall” when explaining that the drop in income comes from older fundraising models. The product life cycle of the event can be a factor for the fall – it typically affected those events around 24 to 27 years old.

Charity status for the media? - it was announced in early August that the Guardian newspaper, in just two years, has become one of the largest fundraising entities in the UK, with more than 300,000 supporters contributing “several million pounds” a year.

Their successful fundraising may have gained the attention of Jeremy Corbyn, who recently proposed giving not-for-profit media outlets charity status. He reasoned this would help them fund their work through tax exemptions, grants and donations. Is this the right course of action? Civil Society have an interesting article on this.

Steady stats on community life - volunteering and giving rates remain steady, according to DCMS’s Community Life Survey 2017-18. The survey gives a snapshot on community engagement and social action - and revealed that the act of giving is remains a strong part of society. Around 75% had given to causes in the past 4 weeks, and women were more likely to give to charity than men (79% compared to 70%). 

An update on the Fundraising Regulator - the government announced that they will hold a ‘light touch’ review of the Regulator just over 2 years since it was established. This is to ensure that it’s still fulfilling its role as stated in the Etherington Review of 2015. Shortly following the announcement and an article in Civil Society that assessed the Regulator’s progress, Chief Executive Gerald Oppenheim published a response which outlined the future plans and ambitions of the Regulator. It’s worth a read and can be found here.



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