RNLI in the media, ‘Olive the Poppy Seller’, the spending review and other fundraising news

RNLI in the media, ‘Olive the Poppy Seller’, the spending review and other fundraising news

Felicity Spencer-Smith | 24 September 2019

Want to know what you missed while on holiday? It was far from a quiet summer with a surprise prorogation of parliament, a surprise spending review, and a couple of really key pieces of data on legacies and the fundraising profession. Felicity Spencer-Smith, IoF Senior External Affairs Officer, summarises the busiest summer in quite a while.

Government and civil society

Amongst a flurry of government activity, a one-year spending review was also announced, with welcome news of a 10% rise in budget for the Charity Commission and additional pots of funding for other projects. However, we wait to hear news on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is due to replace EU funding for communities and charities at the end of next year. Earlier in the week the sector had called for no-deal Brexit funding for civil society organisations too.

Legacy donations to charities exceeds £3bn a year for first time

A record number of 10,428 charities were named in Wills in 2018, with Cancer Research UK, the RNLI and Macmillan Cancer Support the biggest beneficiaries. National media focused on the statistics as we kicked off the annual Remember A Charity Week celebrations (9 - 15 September 2019) which encouraged more people to remember to include a small donation in their Will to a charity that means something to them.

Remember A Charity is celebrating their tenth year with a 70s themed week that sees the return of Points of View, guest starring Matt Berry, to talk about the importance of legacy gifts.

Rob Cope wrote about how charities have changed the narrative on legacy giving in the past ten years. Read it in Civil Society here.

What does the public think about fundraising?

What does the public think about fundraising?

As a sector, we have anecdotal evidence about what the average person on the street thinks about us, and ideas about public opinion from research on trust in charities. But what about the statements that people associate with the fundraising profession? What do they think your job entails and requires? Is fundraising seen as an attractive career, and if not why not?

We’ve released a two-part infographic that look at how the general public perceive fundraising, based on polling conducted by YouGov. The series looks particularly at whether age, race, religion, disability, or gender make a difference to how fundraising is seen and understood by different people.

The first installment explores responses to those big-picture questions about the profession around knowledge, positivity and perceptions. Download it here.

The second, released today, looks at what people think about a career in fundraising. Download it here and read a blog from Alex Xavier, Director of Professional Development, on the findings.

News from the Fundraising Regulator 

The Regulator has published names and details of investigations into ten charities and agencies. This is the first batch of investigations after the regulator changed its approach deciding to name those involved in investigation, whether or not they were found in breach of the Code of Fundraising.

Earlier this month, they announced that the number of charities failing to act on FPS suppression requests is down by 37%. The FPS service allows members of the public to request that their contact details are removed from charities databases, either for themselves or on behalf of another person.

RNLI overwhelmed by sector support

The media and sector came out in force to support the RNLI after the charity was criticised for its work helping people from drowning through their overseas projects. The RNLI reacted robustly arguing that its mission had always been to save lives overseas as well as in UK and Irish waters. And the sector and media turned the narrative to encourage a surge of donations for the charity. At the IoF, we were pleased to declare our support for their brilliant work.

BBC Radio 4 programme corrects fundraising misconception

 Olive Cooke and the misconception that fundraising was in any way involved in her tragic death was the focus on a BBC Radio 4 episode “The Corrections”. We responded clarifying that that although individual story was misrepresented does not mean that the subsequent reviews and reform of charity fundraising regulation that followed were inherently wrong and fundraising is now of a higher standard as a result. Read it here.

Instagram launches donation stickers for charities

It’s been one month since Instagram added a new feature that lets users donate to charity within the app. The sticker, which is added to the Instagram stories function, is a new development that harnesses the public’s generosity, particularly during emergency appeals. Simon Scriver took a deep dive into the detail so you don’t have to.

Who made it happen?

For the second year running, NCVO is leading on a social media campaign for voluntary sector organisations to say thank you to their supporters and to show them the difference their money and time has made, as well as showing the impact we make as a sector.
We're really proud to join this campaign and encourage charities to use the hashtag #YouMadeItHappen on Friday 11 October 2019 to show how they enable your charity to make a difference.

And finally, don't forget that Giving Tuesday is coming up on 3rd December. They have kicked off with #MyGivingStory, a mini campaign to share how you support good causes and why you give – be that donating money, time, skills or goods. Check out their website for ideas on what your charity can do on the day.

Felicity Spencer-Smith is Senior External Affairs Officer at the Institute of Fundraising.

 This article was originally published on 13/09/2019 and updated on 24/09/2019



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