Charities can decide investments for themselves, says CAF
The Charities Aid Foundation has responded to calls for the attorney-general to rule whether charities should be able to invest in companies that contribute to climate change by saying charities must decide for themselves about how and where to invest their money. Sir John Low, chief executive of the ethical banking organisation, said: “There are many powerful ways in which charities can use investments to further their mission and tackle issues like climate change, health, poverty, inequality and human rights so it is vital that they have the freedom to take a stand on the issues that are most important for their mission and the people they serve.” Civil Society reports that charities including RSPB, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Nesta, Ashden Trust, ClientEarth and Quakers in Britain have written an open l etter to Charity Commission chair Baroness Tina Stowell to request “urgent” clarification on charities' legal responsibilities about whether their investments should align with their objectives.
Third Force News
Dozens of charities reported over nuisance marketing
New figures show that regulatory notices have been served against 59 charities that failed to comply with the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS). All have been referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office after ignoring requests made by members of the public who did not want to receive their direct marketing materials. Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive, Fundraising Regulator, said: “The FPS is an important tool in helping to rebuild trust between members of the public, particularly those who are vulnerable, and the charity sector. Charities that fail to respect requests made by the public to stop unwanted communication risk damaging the good work done by the rest of the sector."
Third Force News
OSCR appoints new chair
Lindsay Montgomery, the former chief executive of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, will take up the post of chair of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) this month. Mr. Montgomery is currently a visiting professor at University of Strathclyde School of Law, vice chair of the International Legal Aid Group and chair of the Scottish Government Digital Foundation Board. He will succeed Revd Dr Graham Forbes.
Third Force News
Regulator surveys charities on fraud resilience
The Charity Commission, in partnership with the Fraud Advisory Panel, has launched a survey of 15,000 charities to help it better understand charities’ resilience to fraud and their levels of cyber-security. Alan Bryce, Head of Development and Operational Intelligence at the Charity Commission, said the survey "is a really important project that should significantly improve our understanding of what’s happening across the charity sector and shape our regulatory engagement, helping to build a stronger counter-fraud culture for the future. I urge those charities contacted to get actively involved and complete the questionnaire – your answers really will make a difference."
GOV.UK Civil Society
NCSC is hosting a second charity cyber security webinar
Charity Digital News is partnering with NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) to host a second free educational webinar for charities that will further examine the simple and inexpensive actions charities can take to protect data. The ‘5 steps every charity should take to improve their cyber security’ webinar takes place this Thursday at 1pm.
Charity Digital News
Major fundraising firm shuts down
UK door-to-door fundraiser Home Fundraising has gone bust. Sixteen regional offices have closed their doors and 600 staff will be made redundant. Dominic Will, joint managing director of Home Fundraising Ltd, said: “It’s been an extremely difficult time for fundraising agencies in recent years, with the need to adapt to a dramatically changing marketplace. There is also considerable uncertainty within the UK economy to which very few businesses will be immune, particularly those that carry significant staff and infrastructure costs.”
Third Force News
Donors increasingly believe in pooling resources to create a bigger impact
The FT considers the emerging phenomenon of collaborative giving initiatives, or aggregated funds, that some observers think will become the catalyst for more than $5bn in annual giving.
Is Britain ready to go cashless?
The FT’s Lindsay Cook hopes the Access to Cash review, due to be published later this month, will consider the impact of a cashless society on charitable donations.
Charity closures increased 27% in 2018
Charity law firm Wilsons says charity closures increased 27% in 2018, to 666 from 526 in 2017. Wilsons partner Stephen Oxley said: "The last year has seen more [charities] pass the tipping point into no longer being viable . . . First Government grants were cut, increasing reliance on donations. Donations then started to fall for some charities, in part due to some charities taking reputational hits. That has made it difficult for some charities to carry on.”
Care funding ‘no longer sustainable’ says charity facing strike
Around 450 people have rallied in support of care workers employed by Merseyside charity Alternative Futures Group who are striking over pay. The charity, which supports vulnerable adults who live at home across the UK, has warned that local authority funding for sleep-in care does not “cover the costs” of minimum wages, and has called on the government to address funding for the sector. A spokesman for the charity said that it had “subsidised this shortfall to the tune of £8.1m” in the last four years, “but this is now no longer sustainable.”
Rowing charity hopes to make waves in Oxbridge
A charity has launched a new scheme that pairs up some of the UK’s most challenged schools with individual Oxford and Cambridge colleges in an effort to “demystify Oxbridge” and encourage more state school students to apply. Fulham Reach Boat Club in west London aims to challenge the “elitist” perception of rowing by offering free lessons to state school children. Burlington Academy in White City and Trinity College Oxford are the first pair in the new project, which sees pupils visit the College to be coached in rowing by students and get application advice from tutors.
The Sunday Telegraph
Mental health training urgently needed for teachers
Jonathan Wood of Place2Be, discusses the “alarming” lack of training provided for teachers to respond to and tackle mental health issues. The charity is piloting a scheme in Initial Teacher Education Institutes at the universities of Edinburgh and Stirling, providing reflective space for student teachers and their tutors around the issue of mental health, to create an opportunity to gain perspective on the impact challenging children can have.
A million saplings to be given to schools
Over a million free saplings are being given away to schools and communities by the Woodland Trust to foster a "real passion" for planting trees. It is the first time that the charity, which supplies tree packs to groups keen to improve their areas, has sent out a million trees in a single planting season. Organisations can apply for between 15 and 420 trees. All of the trees are sourced and grown in the UK.
Yorkshire Post Daily Mirror
Bezos tops list of biggest US philanthropists in 2018
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos donated more money to charity last year than anyone else in the world, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The Amazon chief executive and his soon-to-be ex-wife donated $2bn to boost nonprofits that help homeless families under the auspices of their new 'Bezos Day One Fund.' The pair announced their divorce last month but have said they remain "partners in ventures and projects." The top 50 donors on the list gave around 50% less than last year. Overall donations from the world's 50 top donors fell from $14.7bn in 2017 to $7.8bn in 2018.
CNN Business Mercury News
SMEs hoping to make a difference
Research by the Co-operative Bank has found that seven out of 10 British SMEs are driven by a purpose beyond purely making money. Such firms include Good Loop, which donates 50% of what its clients spend to charity; Almond, an app that rewards consumers for buying responsible products; and The Clean Kilo, which encourages customers to reduce environmentally damaging packaging.
The Daily Telegraph
Think of a name . . .
CAF ’s Rhodri Davies writes about how he programmed an AI bot to come up with charity names. Suggestions from the bot included Lewisham Young Farmers Club, Four Winds Relief, Man First Foundation, The Friends of Table, and Cubbington Cat Club.
Charity Digital News