Data privacy law had big impact on regular giving last year
The EU data privacy law known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) had a major impact on regular giving in 2018, according to Rapidata's Charity Direct Debit Tracking Report 2019. The report indicates that donor acquisition declined in the months before and after the new rules came into force in May 2018, and Direct Debit cancellations reached an all-time low. But the report says 2019 looks more positive, with 53% growth in the acquisition of regular givers from January to April of this year, and cancellation rates in the first quarter of 2019 also suggest the return of a more typical cancellation cycle, although lower than before, reports UKFundraising.
IoF bolsters protection for fundraisers
The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has strengthened its processes to protect fundraisers following calls for more to be done to protect them from abuse or harassment. The IoF has updated its member Code of Conduct, its complaints policy, and also introduced a Code of Behaviour for its training and events. Meanwhile, charity retailers are urging stronger penalties for abusive customers. The Charity Retail Association (CRA) says violence and abuse towards retail workers is a growing problem in charity shops. The CRA wants physical or verbal assaults on retail staff and volunteers to be considered an “aggravated offence” that would attract harsher penalties.
Giving Tuesday launches
The UK’s fourth annual Giving Tuesday event takes places on November 28th. The Charities Aid Foundation, which co-ordinates Giving Tuesday activity in the UK, said that YouGov polling last year indicated that more than a quarter (26%) of the UK public who are aware of the movement are likely to do something for charity in the future. Henry Timms, the founder of Giving Tuesday, said: "I think this year’s going to a very big year for Giving Tuesday.” Last year, more than 2,600 UK charities and for-profit organisations took part.
Gift Aid hits record high of £1.35bn
The total tax relief claimed by charities in the year to the end of March went up to £3.79bn, an increase of £100m, according to new figures from the government. Gift Aid claimed by charities reached a record high of £1.35bn - a near £900m increase on 2017/18. The rise follows a campaign to raise awareness about how the system works following a warning from HMRC that charities were missing out on an estimated £560m of Gift Aid each year.
Third Sector Civil Society
Rounding-up cashless donations service
Sustainably has launched its rounding-up donation system to charities. The company's founders claim that by allowing individuals to round up their cashless transactions and donate their spare change to charity, it will “make it easier to do good” by offering “a new way of living and giving.” The launch was announced at the Fundraising Convention in London, Europe’s largest event for charities.
Charities sign up for mobile donations app
A mobile app that helps charities access mobile donations has signed its fiftieth charity partner. Parkinson’s UK joins charities including Shelter, Children with Cancer UK, Brain Tumour Research and Make-A-Wish on the Thinking of You app. The app allows users to send a thoughtful message to someone and add an optional donation to the chosen charity of the recipient or sender.
New report reveals sector's biggest risks
A new report from specialist insurer Ecclesiastical Insurance says charities must assume a longer-term view of risk or else contend with growing threats to their prosperity and security. The insurer's first Charity Risk Barometer finds that funding continues to be the major concern for all charities, Brexit is a significant issue for the year ahead, and reputational risk is a priority following the Charity Commission’s criticism of Oxfam’s handling of the sexual exploitation scandal. Among its recommendations, the report says boards need to regularly evaluate their risks and set time aside to properly consider the threats to the charity’s prosperity and security.
New CEO for National Autistic Society
Caroline Stevens has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society. She will join the charity in November after six years as Chief Executive of KIDS. Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chair of the National Autistic Society said: “[Caroline's] exceptional experience as a leader in the charity and health sectors, combined with her own direct experience supporting her autistic son and as a member of our charity for 20 years, means she brings both new insight and grounded understanding of the day-to-day experiences of autistic people and their families to lead our charity for the future."
Charity founder step downs
Ailsa Bosworth MBE, the Founder and CEO of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) has stepped down and taken on a new role as National Patient Champion. NRAS is the only patient-led UK organisation with a specific focus on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Prime Minister Theresa May, the charity’s patron, said:"[I] would like to take this opportunity to praise Ailsa for her commitment and dedication over the years. I wish Ailsa all the best for her future work as National Patient Champion.” Clare Jacklin, who has worked with Bosworth for the last 12 years, will be taking over as CEO.
RAF mess charity fraud inquiry
The RAF has been criticised for "serious management failures" after a former clerk stole more than £72,000 from two mess charities. Zowie Davis admitted stealing the money over a two-year period while working at RAF Honington in Suffolk and was jailed for 18 months in 2016. A Charity Commission report said the "significant" fraud left the charities in "a precarious financial position." Mess charities provide facilities and activities for RAF personnel. An RAF spokesman said: "We welcome the Charity Commission's report into RAF mess charities, and we have already taken action to address any issues in the report . . . We are committed to ensuring a robust system of policies, procedures and assurances is in place to mitigate against risk."
Online abuse victims must have the legal right to sue tech giants
Social media abuse victims must have the legal right to sue technology companies, children's charities have said. The Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CCCIS) called for the forthcoming online harms laws to give victims of grooming and child abuse images a clear path to take class action suits against the social media platforms where the crimes took place. Meanwhile, the world's biggest tech companies have attacked the UK's push to impose a legal "duty of care" on them. The Washington-based Internet Association, whose members include Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter, said the UK regulations are disproportionately broad, undermine privacy, and will "produce a chilling effect on freedom of speech". The tech firms’ views were echoed by the UK newspaper industry, which warned that plans to regulate social media posed a danger to press freedom.
Scottish politicians back MND campaign
Leaders from all major political parties in Scotland have pledged their support to a new campaign from MND Scotland. A reception was held by the charity at the Scottish Parliament last week, hosted by Bob Doris with ministerial speaker Christina McKelvie. Craig Stockton, chief executive of MND Scotland, said: “We greatly appreciate the party leaders taking the time to reaffirm their support and join our campaign."
Brexit could trigger staffing crisis in care and nursing homes
Charity Care England has warned that nursing home and care home residents could be put at risk by a post-Brexit staffing crisis, with more than 20% of staff in some areas of the UK from elsewhere in the EU. Professor Martin Green from Care England said: “We are already suffering a serious shortage of carers. Brexit will raise that to a critical level.” The charity is calling on the Government to make care workers exempt from plans to restrict migration for those earning under £30,000.