Rebalancing the relationship between large and small charities
The NCVO, ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales are collaborating to examine how charities of differing sizes can work better together in bidding for and delivering public services. The project follows concerns that smaller voluntary organisations are losing out to larger charities in public service delivery. The Rebalancing the Relationship project will develop recommendations primarily around how organisations can themselves act to improve how they work with others, and a final report will be published after consultation early next year. Sir Stuart Etherington, NCVO chief executive, said: “We want to look under the bonnet of current commissioning practices to explore the issues faced by organisations of all sizes. We will then work with voluntary organisations to explore new ways of cooperating to ensure the long-term sustainability of organisations of all sizes acr oss the voluntary sector delivering public services.” Vicky Browning, ACEVO chief executive, noted: “Many ACEVO members tell us that one of their biggest challenges is a commissioning environment that doesn’t meet the needs of their organisation, and by extension the needs of the people they support."
Civil Society Charity Times
Secularists lambast charity status for faith activities
The National Secular Society says "the advancement of religion" should no longer be a charitable purpose and that dispensing with it could restore trust in charities. The society's For the public benefit? report estimates that 12,000 charities, or 7% of the total number of registered charities, list the advancement of religion as their sole charitable objective. Stephen Evans, the society's chief executive, said: “Under our proposed reforms, organisations that serve no charitable purpose aside from advancing a religion would no longer be able to be charities, meaning that they would have to pay tax like any other non-charitable organisation." He added: “Religious organisations that wish to be registered as charities should be required to demonstrate that they serve a genuine public benefit under another charitable heading, for example because they alleviate poverty.”
The Guardian Third Sector Civil Society
Controversy over Rotherham child abuse charity appointment
Rotherham Council is to make a “due diligence” investigation at a local charity after it was revealed that the daughter of disgraced politician Jahangir Akhtar, who was implicated in the Rotherham sex-grooming scandal, has a job with managerial responsibility for child sexual exploitation (CSE) programmes there. Rotherham Rise receives most of its funding from the council. One CSE victim said: “I’m staggered that the charity and council didn’t recognise that putting Jahangir Akhtar’s daughter in that role would create a potential conflict of interest.”
School shuns red nose plastic
School children in Cornwall have said they didn’t buy plastic noses for Comic Relief because it was better for the environment if they made their own. Pupils at Fourlanesend Community Primary School used items such as egg boxes and wool to make more sustainable and more recyclable noses, while still donating the cost of a plastic nose - £1.25 - to the charity. Sir David Attenborough has written to the school to praise their initiative. This year’s appeal has raised £63.5m – about £9.5m less than was raised on the night in 2017. Comic Relief expects more donations to arrive over the coming weeks. The final total is typically about £10m above the amount raised on the night of the show.
The final total in 2017 was £82.1m, up from the £73m raised on the night.
BBC News Civil Society
Charities seek probate discounts
Charities are warning they will lose out if probate fees are increased, the Daily Mail reports. The cost of applying for probate is set to increase from £215 to as much as £6,000. The Institute Of Fundraising, Remember A Charity, the Institute Of Legacy Management and NCVO - which represents volunteers - are proposing the Ministry of Justice discounts fees for estates that leave gifts to charity.
Small charities can succeed with social media
Cara Lewin, Global Program Manager at Blueprint Live – Facebook’s educational training arm for advertisers, addressed an audience at last month's Charity Digital Tech Conference about how charities can launch and manage effective social media campaigns. Her ‘Social media best practices for small charities’ session offered practical advice on using Facebook and Instagram for winning social media campaigns.
Charity Digital News
Most charities miss out on HR efficiency gains
Charity Digital News looks at how HR software can offer efficiency gains for charities in the light of a recent survey by Tech Trust which found that 95% of charities have never used such technology. A cloud-based HR system should enable charities to spend fewer resources on time-consuming manual processes including calculating holiday allowances, recording employee absences, and collating documents - and therefore more time focusing on their objectives.
Charity Digital News
New LGBT+ network for charity workers
The Intercharity LGBT+ Network is a new community for people in the charity sector who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or any other identities in LGBT+. It will hold its inaugural event at Diabetes UK’s London offices on March 28th. The organisers say: “We welcome any LGBT+ people working in the sector to hear from a keynote speaker, have some wine, network and meet some new people.”
Vulnerable pupils ‘injured and traumatised’ by school staff
Scottish learning disabilities charities have warned that the case of a teacher who mistreated autistic pupils was far from an isolated case. Alison Mackie, who worked at Chatelherault Primary School in Hamilton, was barred from teaching for six months. Challenging Behaviour Foundation CEO Vivien Cooper said: “Our new report shows that other vulnerable, disabled children are being physically injured and traumatised by those charged with their care in some schools." The National Autistic Society Scotland added it had heard “horror stories”, such as children being restrained, forced into seclusion and unlawfully excluded. They called for staff to be trained in a technique known as Positive Behaviour Support, which recognises that the way to approach challenging behaviour is to deal with the issue causing it, noting that schools using it have reduced the need for restrictive interventions.
Charity hits out at public computer cuts
Digital inclusion charity Good Things Foundation has criticised public computer cuts. It says new figures suggest that almost 4,000 public computers have been removed from libraries and job centres. Helen Milner, the charity's chief executive, said: “any cuts that risk worsening digital exclusion is of huge concern . . . Good Things Foundation knows from our work with our network across the country that having access to a computer and having digital skills can greatly improve a person’s life chances and quality of life.”
Charity Digital News
Charity backs responsible SMEs
Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of London, says that despite the fact the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99% of companies and employ 60% of private sector workers in the UK, “they are often overlooked when we talk about responsible business.” Writing in City AM, he highlights that charity Heart of the City is looking to support more firms with their responsible business work and will support new SMEs on two-year programmes. He notes Deloitte research suggesting that 66% of consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
Money (that's what charities want)
A rare copy of the Beatles’ debut single has raised £9,400 after being given to a British Heart Foundation store in Midhurst, West Sussex. It is thought the previous owner didn't know the value of the 7-inch demo of Love Me Do - one of only 250 copies distributed to radio stations in 1962. “We have tried to find out who the donor is but we have no idea . . . However, their generosity means that we can raise even more funds for life-saving research,” said Preston Davies, the charity's area manager.
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