Untapped public sector potential of crowdfunding
A new report from the University of Leeds titled Financing for Society: Assessing the suitability of crowdfunding for the public sector, has found that investment-based crowdfunding can provide local authorities with a competitively-priced source of capital and improved civic engagement. The project was led by University of Leeds academics Dr Mark Davis, Associate Professor of Sociology and founder of The Bauman Institute, and Research Fellow Dr Laura Cartwright. Dr Davis noted: “At a time when public sector finances are under increasing pressure, crowdfunding – still mistakenly seen as being just another form of charitable giving – has the potential to offer this radical alternative via an investment-based business model that generates social, environmental and economic returns.”
National Fundraising Awards 2019 unveils shortlist
This year’s National Fundraising Awards shortlist includes Action for Children, British Heart Foundation, Greenpeace UK and CLIC Sargent among others. Chair of the judging panel, Howard Lake, remarked: “Our judging panel received an amazing standard of entries this year. With such strong candidates, it was as challenging as ever asking the judging panel to come up with the top five entries in order for each category results in some strong debates, yet several judges told me just how much they enjoyed the experience.” The winners will be announced on Monday 1 July 2019 at The Brewery, London.
Wild at Heart doubles text giving total
Animal welfare charity Wild at Heart Foundation is using text donation to help stray dogs worldwide. The charity aims to compassionately reduce worldwide stray dog populations using neutering programmes, awareness campaigns and education initiatives and has partnered with the Humane Society of the United States to try and neuter 20,000 Puerto Rican dogs by this year. Marketing and Fundraising Manager Eleanor Brampton said of their current campaign: “The real hook is it allows people to donate there and then on Instagram, where you can’t link to a donation form directly, so it saves that kind of convoluted route. It works on Instagram especially because people are quite lazy when looking through their social media and are tempted to keep scrolling through, so this offers a quick and easy Call to Action.”
Children with Cancer UK boss calls for more women in senior positions
Dhivya O'Connor, chief executive of Children with Cancer UK, has told Charity Financemagazine that more women are needed in top positions in the charity sector. She remarked: “Being a female CEO in a sector where we still don’t see enough women in the top job is something that personally I’m very proud of. And, for me, it’s important to also be a role model for other women in the sector.” She also noted that “All charities have a responsibility ultimately to their donors to let them know exactly where their money has gone, and what the impact of that funding has been.”
Scope publishes details of disabled employees' experiences
A "pioneering" report about the experiences of Scope’s disabled employees and the mental health and wellbeing of all its staff has been published, and the charity has urged others to do the same. A new voluntary reporting framework was introduced by the government last November, but Scope is the first organisation to share details of its workforce's experiences. The report stated: “If we are to close the gap between disabled and non-disabled people’s employment opportunities, all employers will need to step up and commit to shifting workplace policy and attitudes.”
Charity failed to file accounts for five years
Charity Chabad Lubavitch UK failed to file its annual accounts for five years, with the Charity Commission concluding that there was “mismanagement in the administration”. Amy Spiller, head of investigations team at the Charity Commission, stated: “This inquiry highlighted poor management and controls in the administration of the charity. The public rightly expect trustees to take their responsibilities seriously, so that charities can deliver on their mission and purpose effectively, and inspire trust.” She noted that transparency has now improved, with the public “better able to see how the charity manages its finances.”
Asthma sufferers go hungry to afford inhalers
A study by Asthma UK claims that around 805,000 patients with the condition have been forced to cut back on food in order to be able to pay for their essential medication, while 21% of those surveyed said they had to cut back on essential bills to fund their treatment. The charity’s Stop Unfair Asthma Prescription Charges campaign is urging ministers to make medication free for sufferers, as it is for many other long-term illnesses. Charges for NHS prescriptions have risen by 26% to £9 since 2010.
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Scottish Charity Regulator issues accounts guidance
The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)’s guidance on the legal requirements for preparing charity accounts has been updated to help charity trustees better understand what they are required to do. OSCR's head of professional advice and intelligence Laura Anderson stated: “Getting accounting right is a vital task for charities as the annual report and accounts that each charity is required to prepare plays a huge part in public trust.” She went on: “This guidance gives an overview of the law and provides essential information regarding charities' accounts.”
Cybercrime alert issued to trustees
Charity trustees have been provided with information on how to report cybercrime by the Charity Commission, "amid ongoing prevalent threats, particularly around phishing emails". The Commission recommends that charities should report fraud to them as a serious incident, stating: “We require prompt, full and frank disclosure of incidents. Serious incident reporting helps us to assess the volume and impact of incidents within charities, and to understand the risks facing the sector as a whole”. This comes as a government report, the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019, reveals that one-fifth of charities experienced compromised online security in 2018.
RSPB releases bird song single
The RSPB has released a song called Let Nature Sing which reached number 11 in the UK midweek charts. The organisation is hoping it will break into the top 10 later today with the track, which featured various threatened and endangered birds and is intended to raise awareness of the challenges facing them and other wildlife. Rebecca Munro, director of fundraising and communications at RSPB, said that the political climate has encouraged the charity to be “bolder and braver”, noting that Brexit represents “a once in a lifetime opportunity… so if we can’t make nature laws strong now we are not going to get another opportunity for a very long time”.
Campaign encourages everyday walking
A new digital street campaign called ‘Walk this May’ is intended to raise awareness of the street environment by getting people to walk more. Celebrating National Walking Month, the campaign is organised by walking campaign group Living Streets, which will be working with InLinkUK and showcasing images and messages of participants. Tanya Braun, Head of Policy and Communications at Living Streets remarked: “We support InLink UK’s commitment to get more people walking. Where they have reduced pavement clutter – giving valuable space back to local communities – we applaud their efforts to make it easier to walk on Britain’s streets.”
Mencap teams up with 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon
Disability charity Mencap has been named by Virgin Money London Marathon as its official Charity of the Year for the 2020 event. Mencap’s campaign Here I Am aims to start a movement of change toward greater inclusion for people with learning disabilities. Jan Tregelles, the organisation’s chief executive, remarked: “We are absolutely delighted to be Charity of the Year for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon”, while Hugh Brasher, event director for the Marathon, commented: “We passionately believe in sport for all and greater inclusion for people with a learning disability.”