Helping older donors avoid fraud
The Charity Commission is urging older people - who it says are at greater risk of charitable giving scams - to make important checks before making donations. Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales indicates that almost 1 in 12 of respondents aged 65 and older reported being the victim of fraud in the last year. The watchdog is targeting a range of communities across England and Wales in a series of campaigns to raise awareness of giving safely. Sarah Atkinson, director of policy, planning and communications at the commission, said: “The scams that we sometimes unfortunately see take advantage of people’s charitable spirit, and can seriously dent their trust in charity . . . Making simple checks before you hand over your money or your details is an important way to ensure you are giving with your head as well as your heart."
Civil Society UKFundraising
Ten years of Remember A Charity Week
Michael Clark, legacy and in-memory manager at Cystic Fibrosis Trust and interim co-chair at Remember A Charity, looks back at highlights from ten years of Remember A Charity Week and the collaboration of many charities working towards the common goal of creating social change by normalising gifts in Will. He writes: "As legacies have become a more familiar talking point and the generation of silver surfers enables us to reach out even more effectively, the scope for communicating legacies is expanding rapidly. A collective approach is crucial for engaging the support of government and the legal community, and to convey the importance of gifts in Wills."
Charities watchdog accuses auditors of poor standards
The Charity Commission has accused some auditors of letting down their profession after the watchdog found only half of a sample of charity accounts met the required standards. A study of 296 charities' accounts found auditors and independent examiners are failing to identify "significant failings." The study found that a quarter of charities with incomes of more than £1m failed to meet external scrutiny standards. At least half the charities in its two lower income samples failed to meet the standard, which the watchdog said was "particularly concerning," given it covers only basic requirements. Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services at the Charity Commission, said: “The public care deeply about transparency. It is therefore vital that charities are able to provide an accurate and clear picture of their finances.”
Financial Times The Times Daily Mail Civil Society
£3m Dream Fund is open for applications
Charities are invited to apply for share of £3m fund for their “dream projects.” The People’s Postcode Lottery’s (PPL) Dream Fund is open to charities and community groups across Great Britain working to develop solutions to “society’s most challenging problems.” Laura Chow, head of charities at PPL, said: "This announcement marks the start of an exciting process that will see £3m raised by our players awarded to truly inspirational projects . . . The Dream Fund has made a remarkable difference to so many projects over the past nine years, and I have no doubt that we’ll see many more bold and courageous ideas submitted this year."
Third Force News UKFundraising
Warning on impact of anti-money laundering rules
A lawyer warns that many charities face increased administrative costs as part of new government anti-money laundering rules. Lucy Rhodes, associate at Bates Wells, said the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) could force all charitable trusts, no matter what size, to register with the government’s new trust registration service (TRS). The TRS rules, which currently only apply to trusts that incur tax, require trustees to provide and maintain up-to-date information about their beneficial owners – settlor, trustees, protector, beneficiaries - and any “other natural person exercising effective control of the trust.”
Charity workers often feel inadequate
A new survey suggests charity workers suffer from so-called "imposter syndrome." Of 1,000 workers surveyed by learning and development training provider, The Hub Events, 100% of workers in not-for-profit organisations said they felt inadequate or incompetent at work, and 80% said they don’t feel they deserve current success. Christine Macdonald, director of The Hub Events, said: “Simply talking about the fact that imposter syndrome exists, and that it’s a lot more common than we think, could be a huge relief to people who are gripped by these self-doubts . . . Organisations can help a lot by encouraging openness, opportunities to develop and realistic expectations. They can also help by ensuring their management staff are all fully trained to mentor and assist employees and understand the importance of positive feedback.”
Third Force News
Volunteers might be able to take charities to employment tribunals
Civil Society reports that changes to sexual harassment legislation currently under consultation could blur the line between volunteering and work in the eyes of the law. A consultation on sexual misconduct in the workplace and the legal protections available under the Equalities Act 2010 may open the door to volunteers being able to take charities to employment tribunals. Shaun Delaney, volunteering development manager at NCVO, wrote in a blog: “Volunteers should certainly receive the same level and quality of protection as paid staff. However, bringing them into the scope of this law is potentially a huge shift for the organisations that involve more than 20 million volunteers in their work in the UK."
Poor gender balance at the top
A survey by Charity Finance indicates that over 70% of chief executives at the country’s largest charities are men. Twenty-seven charities of the largest 100 UK charities had female chief executives and two had vacant positions. ACEVO chief executive Vicky Browning said: “Women comprise 65 per cent of the sector’s entire workforce. Diversity tapers up the higher up the ladder you go and we need to look at the way the sector operates to tackle this issue which becomes even more evident in our largest charities.”
Charity chief’s pay under scrutiny
The Charity Commission has asked contraception and abortion charity Marie Stopes International to explain why chief executive Simon Cooke was paid £434,000 last year. Mr Cooke's salary rose from £173,067 to £217,250 and he was awarded a performance-related bonus of the same amount, making him the third highest-paid charity boss.
ACEVO rebrand moves away from 'elitism'
ACEVO has rebranded in an attempt to be seen as less confrontational and more personable. The charity leaders' organisation says it wants to convey an image more like the US former first lady Michelle Obama than confrontational UK broadcaster Jeremy Paxman. ACEVO chief executive Vicky Browning said in a blog post: "we've been working on [a rebranding process] over the past two years to move ACEVO from its old brand persona (think Jeremy Paxman: expert, confrontational, elitist) to the new (Michelle Obama: authentic, self-confident, personable).” The rebrand includes upgrades that make the ACEVO website more accessible and visually appealing to visitors.
Charity Digital News Civil Society Charity Times
NSPCC: Facebook encryption plans put children at risk
The NSPCC has urged Facebook to abandon plans to encrypt all of its messaging services unless it can prove that children will not be place at greater risk of paedophiles. Encrypting children’s accounts on services such as the Messenger app could lead to the tech giant losing the ability to detect grooming on its sites. The charity argued this would put the company in breach of incoming statutory duty of care legislation. Professor Hany Farid, who created PhotoDNA, the software Facebook and other sites use to block abuse images online, said the encryption plans were “spectacularly harmful for children” and “morally reprehensible”.
The Daily Telegraph
Shoppers urged not to buy new season clothes
A new campaign – Second Hand September – is urging consumers not to buy new clothing for the whole of next month. The Oxfam-organised campaign aims to raise awareness of fashion's environmental impact. Nicola Tallett, the charity’s director of engagement, said: “We have seen on a daily basis the impact of the climate emergency on people living in poverty, whether through the droughts in east Africa or the earthquakes in Asia, and we wanted to do something about it.”
Irish housing charity sets up tent city outside council offices
A tent city has been created by Anthony Flynn, founder and chief executive of Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) outside the offices of Dublin City Council. Mr Flynn said: “We’re sending a message to the council today that we need an adequate response to this, we’ve seen in European counterparts such as Helsinki, they’ve basically eradicated homelessness”. A Dublin City Council spokesperson commented: “We do not want sheltering in tents to become normalised and we are actively working with our Outreach Service, An Garda Síochána and Dublin City Council’s Public Domain Unit to prevent this.”
Irish Examiner Irish Independent Irish Times
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