Guidance for charities linked with non-charities
The Charity Commission has published guidance on charities with a connection to a non-charity following a consultation on its draft guidelines last year. The guidance seeks to help charities profit from partnerships with non-charities while managing the risks, and includes specific applications to fundraising including corporate foundations, charities with trading subsidiaries, and charities that fund or receive funding from a non-charity. Helen Stephenson, the regulator's chief executive, said: "Operating alongside other organisations should always be well considered and trustees must manage the risks that can arise carefully, and with probity . . . No charity should ever use or be used by non-charitable organisations to pursue uncharitable interests.”
Most complaints to Fundraising Regulator in 2017/18 were upheld
Most (81%) of the complaints made to the Fundraising Regulator between April 2017 and August 2018 were upheld, according to the regulator's Complaints Report, based on 78 investigations over the period. The regulator found 63 of the cases constituted a breach of the standards expected of charities in the UK and the most common type of breaches were about general principles and complaints, third party fundraisers and personal data. Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “Our Complaints Report is vital to our understanding of fundraising standards in the UK and helps us inform our work. Complaints made by the public make an important contribution to the way we, charities and their fundraising partners learn from concerns and make improvements. We will continue to review and evaluate the complaints process and we look forward to working closely with charities to ensure high standards of fundrais ing prac tice are maintained.”
UKFundraising Charity Times
Good causes benefit following regulator's inquiry
More than £13m has been distributed to charities following an investigation by the regulator into poverty charity Relief for Distressed Children and Young People. The probe by the Charity Commission identified breaches of trust and duty by trustees including the misapplication of funds and a failure to manage conflicts of interest. The charity’s former chairperson has been removed and disqualified from serving as a charity trustee or holding any senior management function of any charity in England and Wales. Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Charity Commission, said: “Our inquiry has relentlessly pursued these funds so that a significant sum could be safeguarded and applied to good causes."
Charity inquiry forces metal producer to delay results
London-listed iron ore producer Ferrexpo has delayed the publication of its annual results for a second time amid an investigation into financial discrepancies at a charity it funds in Ukraine. The company said in February that it was carrying out an independent review because charity bank statements provided to Deloitte, Ferrexpo's auditor, contained "unexplained discrepancies." Last month it delayed its results after the independent review committee, working with advisers at BDO, also identified "a number of discrepancies on the application of funds by Blooming Land and its sub-funds, which indicates that the funds may not all have been used for their stated purpose."
Charities must ask themselves fundamental questions
NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington has told the Council's annual conference that the charity sector must embrace change as its enters "a new economic phase" and he urged charities to ask themselves "fundamental questions" about how they operate if they want to stay successful. He told the audience gathered for his last annual state of the sector address at the conference that "Change can be uncomfortable . . . But change and renewal are part of life.," adding “Without change and renewal you will be overtaken by the world. That isn’t good enough for our sector. You must always seek to be in the driving seat, leading the way.”
Government withdraws ‘myth busting’ guide
The Department for Education has withdrawn a social care ‘myth busting’ guide after a legal challenge disputing its accuracy. Last month, children's rights charity Article 39 launched High Court proceedings against the government over claims the guide for local authorities "removes important statutory safeguards" for children. The charity has previously said that the guidance produced by the DfE's children's social care innovation programme features "numerous errors and misrepresentations of the statutory framework" on how social workers should support children in care. A joint letter detailing the legal inaccuracies in the document, which was signed by 50 charities and social work experts, was delivered to children's minister Nadhim Zahawi in September last year. The DfE said it had taken the decision to remove the guidance from circulation, rather than "divert time and public money to litigation".
Autism awareness campaign launched
Third Force News reports on what charitable organisations in Scotland are doing during World Autism Awareness Week 2019. Inspiring Scotland is encouraging people to see autism as a different way of looking at the world instead of a disorder that can be cured. Celia Tennant, the charity's chief executive, applauded the Scottish Government's work to improve support for people with autism, saying: “We . . . welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving the lives of autistic people. These steps aim to increase society’s understanding of autism, to move away from stereotypes and to make clear the many strengths autistic people bring to society."
Taskforce will tackle sexual harassment in fundraising
The Institute of Fundraising is setting up a taskforce to counter sexual harassment in fundraising. Amanda Bringans, the Institute’s chair, said: “Fundraising is a profession for everyone. We do brilliant things that raise vital funds for good causes. All this should be done in a safe and respectful environment. We will work to clamp down on unacceptable behaviour and ensure our fundraising community is a safe space for everyone.” The Institute said it could “name and shame” and then expel members who are found to have committed misconduct. "We want to actively encourage people to come forward and report complaints if they have experienced sexual harassment by a member of the Institute or at an Institute event, no matter when that incident happened. Those incidents will be investigated fully, even if the person complained of resigns their membership of the Institute," said Bringan s.
£15m Tampon Tax Fund allocated to 10 charities
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that the latest round of funding from the Tampon Tax Fund sees £15m awarded to 10 charity groups to focus on women's issues. The recipients of the fund are UK Community Foundations (UKCF), Homeless Link, Spirit of 2012, Gamcare, Crisis UK, SACRO, Southall Black Sisters, Changing Lives, Comic Relief and Youth Access. UKCF received the largest proportion of funding, with £3.5m. Civil society minister Mims Davies said: “It is absolutely right we invest money from sanitary products in projects to give more women and girls the help and support they need to address difficult challenges they face in society.”
HMCTS’ new legacy notification service - update
The Institute of Legacy Management (ILM) and other professionals from the charity sector have attended the inaugural meeting of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) working group on the new system which will alert charities to donations in wills. This comes after its announcement that Smee & Ford has been given notice on its contract. ILM reported that the consensus of the meeting was productive, while HMCTS confirmed its commitment to openness throughout the process. Ed Owen, Director of Communications at HMCTS, remarked: “We held a very positive and productive first meeting with representatives of the charity sector on this issue, and we are grateful to them for their insight on key issues.”
Taunton cancer centre plans anger locals
Residents say they are angry and disappointed after plans to build a £5m cancer centre in Taunton on protected land were approved. Taunton Deane Borough Council approved the Maggie's charity plan to build the centre on land at Galmington Playing Fields, next to Musgrove Park Hospital. Campaigner Bev Fernandes said: "I'm very disappointed but the fight will go on." Other critics have raised concerns over the lack of parking facilities which already causes problems around Musgrove Park Hospital. The new building is expected to make matters worse, say protestors.