New charities minister appointed
Mims Davies has been appointed to succeed Tracey Crouch as minister for sport and civil society, following the latter’s resignation last week. Davies is a trustee of a small military charity called Building Heroes, set up in 2016 to provide education, support and training to veterans. Charity leaders have congratulated Davies and begun raising issues with her. David Ainsworth, writing in Civil Society, states that Tracey Crouch’s departure “should make charities think again about what they want from government”. He states that Crouch’s Civil Society Strategy constitutes “a vision of what she’d like government’s relationship with the sector to be” but concludes that “the vision is not deliverable”. He identifies the problem as being that the current government does not see charities as relevant, and suggests that the issues facing charities cannot be solved in the Dep artment for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Civil Society Civil Society The Daily Telegraph
Food bank use increasing because of universal credit – Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank charity has urged immediate change to the universal credit system after it released figures showing it distributed over 650,000 food parcels over the past six months. This number represents a year-on-year increase of 13%. The organisation said the government’s making new claimants wait five weeks or more for their first universal credit payment was a factor behind the rise. Emma Revie, Trussell’s chief executive, commented: “The only way to stop even more people being forced to food banks this winter will be to pause all new claims to universal credit, until funding is in place to reduce the five-week wait”.
Britain’s largest breast cancer charities to merge
Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now are to merge to form a single charity in spring of next year. The two organisations will continue operating separately as they prepare for the merger, which will see Jill Thompson, currently a Trustee and Treasurer for Breast Cancer Care, become Chair of the combined charity. Delyth Morgan, currently CEO at Breast Cancer Now, will be CEO Designate, and Samia al Qadhi will step down as Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care on 31 March next year. The current Chairs of both charities will also step down in April 2019. By merging, the two organisations aim to create one “comprehensive offer” for people affected by the disease and also increase their campaigning voice. Ms Thompson said: “Despite the enormous progress made by both charities, the challenge that lies ahead in breast cancer is unprecedented. This merger is a bold and exciting opportunity to rise to this challenge, together, and make a significant differe nce to the millions affected – providing support for today and hope for the future.”
Fundraising Third Force News
Galloway's Society for the Blind to get new chairman
Galloway’s Society for the Blind is to get a new chairman. Simon Booth, who has sat on the board of trustees for 36 years and will replace John Ward, will officially take over the lead role at the AGM at Leyland Civic Centre on 23 November. He remarked: “The Booth family has been associated with Galloway’s for 150 years and I’m very proud to be able to take on the role of chairman.” He continued: “I believe the charity is making a real difference to local people who are living with sight loss.”
‘Round Up for Charity’ campaign on Stena Line vessels
Stena Line has launched a donation campaign across its entire fleet of 38 vessels in aid of Mercy Ships, which brings free, life-saving medical care around the world. Customers will be asked to Round Up for Charity until 27 November to make a donation to Mercy Ships. Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line, commented: “We believe Round Up for Charity is a simple and effective way for our customers to help make a contribution to Mercy Ships’ inspiring work. Last year we managed to raise £11k during a two-month coffee campaign, and this year we hope to raise at least the same amount of money, in half the time”.
More training needed to cut baby deaths
According to charity Baby Lifeline, urgent training of frontline NHS staff is needed to save more babies' lives. A report from the charity claims that many cases of stillbirth and baby injury are avoidable with better maternity staff. Around 665,000 babies are born in England a year, with about 3,000 stillbirths. But Baby Lifeline said just 7.9% of trusts have adopted guidelines NHS England says could prevent around 600 stillbirths a year.
Charities Commission investigates dog charity
The Charities Commission has investigated animal welfare charity The Dog You Need after its chief, Peter Singh, was accused of benefiting from donations made by the public. At least £225,000 was given to the charity before UK activists discovered that over 20 dogs were being kept in cramped conditions at a house Mr Singh owned in Spain, which he claimed was a refuge for the animals. He was later fined £100 for making threats on social media to those who had raised questions over his activities.
Defunct housing charity investigated
Now defunct Bristol-based housing charity Alternative Housing is the subject of a statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission, after it was convicted for several breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006. Convictions against the organisation came about after a number of its properties were deemed unsatisfactory for residents. The commission has confirmed that its probe continues despite the closure of the charity.
JustGiving figures show profits double
Annual accounts for JustGiving, the online fundraising platform, show it had a total revenue of £27m in the year to December 2017, but it no longer states how much is raised for charity via its platform. Based on previous figures, this figure is likely to be around £500m. It is believed that the reason for this year’s failure to provide this information is that JustGiving’s parent company, Blackbaud, considers it to be commercially sensitive.
Caution urged over poppy merchandise
Ahead of Remembrance weekend, people in Yorkshire are being warned against falling victim to so-called ‘poppy fraudsters’ after police seized hundreds of items of fake merchandise. The government’s Intellectual Property Office is working with the Royal British Legion to raise awareness of the issue. Intellectual Property Minister Sam Gyimah noted: “It is truly shocking that anyone would target and exploit one of the UK’s most cherished charities and take advantage of public support for our Armed Forces community.” He went on: “Together we can ensure donations go to the people they are intended for, by only supporting approved merchandise. Be vigilant when you are buying your poppies this year, and look out for the Royal British Legion logo to ensure the merchandise is approved and genuine.”
Scottish care staff reject pay offer
Staff at Scottish care charity Cornerstone have voted overwhelmingly to reject a pay offer from their employer. With some 92% of workers opposed to the offer, Deborah Clarke, worker union Unison’s regional organiser described the ballot result as “an amazing show of strength by a predominantly female workforce. She noted: “Employers can no longer expect to get cheap labour on the backs of low-paid women. Cornerstone says it believes in fair work, so it beggars belief that they are refusing to engage with their staff on fair pay.”
Differences between British and Australian legacy fundraising
A blog post on Fundraising.co.uk analyses the differences between legacy fundraising in the UK and in Australia. The author had been on a study tour in London organised by Include a Charity, Australia’s equivalent to Remember a Charity, and attended theInstitute of Fundraising’s annual Legacy Conference. It is noted that there is a much stronger infrastructure around legacy fundraising in Britain, alongside more in-depth, legacy-specific research. However, Australians are said to be “better at donor stewardship and engagement of our existing supporters.”