Charities are optimistic
A report from the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) in partnership with professional services firm PwC suggests charities are optimistic despite ongoing economic uncertainty. The Fundraising for Impact report looks at fundraising income and costs, how charities are investing in fundraising, key fundraising challenges, and issues around fundraising in the future. The authors of the report say charities are using innovation and new approaches to ensure future success amid growing costs around compliance, workforce and fundraising activity. Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said: “While increased costs and economic uncertainty lead to a challenging environment, I’m pleased to see that more charities are putting in place strong foundations and building blocks that will deliver for their causes into the future.”
Rich donated £3.75bn to charities in the last 12 months
The Sunday Times' Giving List - produced in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) - shows £3.75bn has been donated to charity by the UK’s richest individuals in the last year. The total amount donated was a 0.5% increase on last year, when £3.207bn was given to charitable causes, although the number of individuals donating more than 1% of their wealth has fallen from 86 last year to 72. “I think the negative publicity around the third sector has affected the general public more than major donors, who tend to believe passionately in the causes to which they give huge sums of money and are often able to have a much closer relationship with the charity,” said Joanna Walker, head of private clients at CAF.
Weather blamed for drop in Sport Relief donations
Comic Relief has blamed "exceptionally harsh weather conditions affecting people getting out and about to fundraise" and a televised match involving the England football team for a £30m drop in Sport Relief donations. “During the Sport Relief Night of TV itself the England Football Team were also playing a live international on another TV channel which took some viewers away from Sport Relief,” Liz Warner, the charity’s chief executive, said about the March 2018 event.
Property company launches fund for local charities
Keighley-headquartered real estate developer Skipton Properties has launched a dedicated charity fund that will award £1,000 each month to support worthy causes in the areas where it builds homes. The family-run firm has announced that the initiative will run for the next 12 months, from July 2019 to July 2020, to charities or community initiatives in Haworth, Glusburn, Sabden, Harden, Cowpe, Barnoldswick and Shipley.
Second inquiry launched into Hindu Community Society
The Charity Commission has opened a second statutory inquiry into Hindu Community Society, a charity which exists to promote charitable purpose for the benefit of the Tamil community in Coventry, particularly by advancing the Hindu religion. The Commission has serious regulatory concerns regarding the management and governance of the charity. Despite being previously included in a class inquiry in 2017 for failing to file its financial accounts, the charity’s trustees have failed for the sixth consecutive year to submit the charity’s annual financial information on time.
Supreme Court will hear landmark sleep-in hearing in February
An appeal against the landmark sleep-in ruling in favour of Mencap will be heard by the Supreme Court in February next year. The Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake case relates to social care workers on "sleep-in shifts" who provide overnight on-call support to patients but are expected to sleep through the majority of the shift. Employers have typically paid flat-rate fees at rates below the minimum wage but the legality of this arrangement was challenged at employment tribunal hearings by former Mencap employee Clare Tomlinson-Blake.
Charities miss out on digital investment platforms
Bridgit Richards, director of product and marketing at Charities Aid Foundation, says many charities are missing out on digital innovations when it comes to their investments. A 2018 study revealed that the top 5,000 UK charities (in terms of new assets, income or expenditure) are holding £16.7bn in deposits - but this isn’t being actively managed by investment professionals on behalf of the charities. She says all kinds of charities must be able to access to reliable digital investment platforms to actively manage their finances.
Charity Awards 2019 shortlist is announced
The shortlist for the Charity Awards 2019 has been announced. Ten category winners, and the Overall Award for Excellence and the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, will be announced at a black-tie dinner held in the grounds of the Tower of London on June 5th. Sir John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), said: “As a long-term sponsor of the Charity Awards, we at the Charities Aid Foundation are proud to be associated with the premier national event that celebrates and showcases the best of what British charities do year in year out."
Criticism for Breast Cancer Now campaign
A campaign by Breast Cancer Now has been criticised for being “ill-informed” and “rude” by True Cancer Bodies, a group of cancer patients who are campaigning to raise awareness of the trauma involved in cancer treatments. The use of slogans including "good things come in twos" and "two is stronger than one" met with an angry response from some in the cancer community who were mindful of those who have lost breasts to the disease. Fiona Hazell, the charity's director of communications and engagement, said: “In hindsight, we realise it was not delivered quite right. The intention was absolutely about creating a campaign which was about friendship. It has caused upset which we are extremely sorry for . . . We always try to ensure that our campaigns are carried out with the utmost sensitivity to those who have been affected, or who are currently affected by breast cancer and we are very sorry for the offence caused by some of our campaign content."
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Stars join Scottish charity's homelessness campaign
Dame Helen Mirren and Will Smith are participating in a Scottish charity’s campaign to end homelessness. They will read bedtime stories at a global sleep-out of a projected 50,000 people on December 7th to raise awareness of homeless and displaced people. The World's Big Sleep Out, created by Social Bite, takes place simultaneously in London, New York, Edinburgh, Chicago, New Delhi, Newcastle, Dublin, Belfast, Madrid, Barcelona, Brussels, Cardiff and Santiago. "The World's Big Sleep Out campaign will play an important role in shining the political spotlight on the issues of homelessness and displacement whist raising considerable funds to make a big difference,” said Dame Helen.
The volunteers helping tackle problem plastic
The Independent profiles volunteers across the UK who are collecting plastic waste that councils are not able to recycle, and passing it on to private recycling firm TerraCycle in exchange for charitable donations. The paper speaks to one volunteer, George, who has raised £17,000 for charity by collecting plastic over the last six years. Campaigners question why the government has not been able to improve recycling rates if a private firm has been able to stay profitable by recycling plastic not collected by local authorities.
Universities should use ‘privilege flags’ to aid diversity
The leader of a charity that raises aspiration among underprivileged children has called upon universities to introduce "privilege flags" so admissions tutors know when students are from affluent backgrounds. Dr Rachel Carr, chief executive of IntoUniversity, said this would allow institutions to see who has had a better start in life. "Lots of universities already use participation flags to identify students," she said. "How about we also use 'privilege flags' so we can see the students who already have a much better start and a much better likelihood of success."
Mental health spending varies wildly across regions
Analysis of 42 NHS regions by the charity Mind suggests there is nearly a two-fold difference in mental health spending across England. It found that Surrey Heartlands spent the least - £124 per person last year - compared with South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, which spent more than £220. It said the differences were huge and would affect the quality of care but, despite the variation, spending was still rising everywhere.
Irish charity aims to make Cork ‘the best place to be LGBT’
Cork LGBT charity Gay Project has launched two policy papers to support its Making Cork the Best Place to be LGBT project. The charity’s chair, Colette Finn, said a number of changes were needed at local and national level to support LGBT+ people, including “hate crime legislation to prevent attacks, a ban on bogus conversion therapy and full and equal family rights,” along with local projects and issues like a sexual health service, an equality hub to act as a community centre, greater visibility and awareness, and for an “LGBT lens to be applied to all citywide policy-making and strategy formation.”