Charity Times – 10/03/2020

FUNDRAISING

Charities advised to go ahead with planned events

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has issued guidance in response to concerns about mass participation events amid the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance reiterates the current NHS advice to continue to go to work and public places as usual for the time being. The guidance states: “Of course, each charity will need to consider their own events, but at this stage we would anticipate events going ahead unless the official guidance changes . . . However, it is sensible for each charity to review their plans, put in place contingencies and provide appropriate information to participants/volunteers/attendees ahead of and at the event.” Charities in Scotland were last week warned against complacency amid a potential epidemic, with Scottish law firm Lindsays, which has many charity sector clients, warning employers in the sector that they must prepare without delay. Kate Wyatt, a partner at Lindsays, said: “We’re s eeing so me worrying signs surrounding lack of forward thinking which could cause issues in the medium to long term. No-one can afford to put their head in the sand on this and think they won’t be affected. It’s clear that every organisation – of every size – needs to prepare for a worst-case scenario, including staff being infected, others going into self-isolation and the prospect that they may have to close the doors of their buildings, to employees and clients.” A major charity event has already fallen victim to the coronavirus outbreak. Hundreds of people had been due to attend the People’s Postcode Lottery charity gala at the National Museum of Scotland tomorrow, where Sir David Attenborough was to be the guest of honour. The gala has now been shelved “due to current health concerns relating to large public gatherings and travel.”

Third Force NewsThird Force NewsThird Force News

Most female fundraisers experience gender stereotyping

A report from the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) indicates that more than three-quarters of female fundraisers have experienced gender stereotyping at work. The report from the IoF – Missing Out: Understanding the Female Leadership Gap in Fundraising – found multiple issues with gender equality in the fundraising profession, including gender pay inequities and a lack of support for women who need to manage their career with care requirements. The report includes recommendations for charities, the IoF and individual fundraisers, including ensuring a work environment is suitable for those who need flexibility and greater recognition of how race and disability can affect career advancement. Dr Elizabeth J. Dale, co-author of the report, said: “This research calls on the entire sector, and society more broadly, to not only recognise women’s talent and leadership ambition but to rethink how to address tensio ns betwe en work and family and create additional supports so that more women can obtain leadership roles.” Dr Beth Breeze, who co-authored the research, observed: “Clearly, the current career ladders in fundraising are not supporting all of the talented people who aspire to reach leadership roles. I hope the recommendations are read and taken seriously by all who are committed to strengthening the fundraising profession and its positive impact on society. Together we can make sure that talent rises to the top.”

Civil Society

Fifty biggest charities had 18k fundraising complaints in 2018-19

Analysis by Civil Society shows that the UK’s 50 biggest fundraising charities received 18,000 complaints in total in 2018-19 – a 17% drop on the previous year. The analysis of data gleaned from annual reports found that total fundraising complaints fell from more than 21,000 in 2017-18 to about 18,000 in 2018-19. Macmillan Cancer Support was the most complained about charity for a second successive year, but it also saw a substantive year-on-year decrease in complaints, going from 6,600 fundraising complaints in 2017-18 to 4,100 in 2018-19 (a 38% fall). Lindsay Grieve, head of customer experience at Macmillan, said: “We are extremely diligent in our reporting of complaints, for instance in 2017 we started to include any ‘expression of dissatisfaction’ on social media as a complaint. This was supported by the Fundraising Regulator as a rigorous way of logging complaints and something that not all chari ties adh ere to . . . The decrease in the number of complaints, from 2017 to 2018, is largely due to an issue with one of our suppliers, who we stopped working with in 2018, as well as general ongoing improvements based on this customer feedback.”

Civil Society

WORKFORCE

Long running industrial dispute is settled

Social care charity Cornerstone and trade union Unison have agreed a new recognition deal that brings one of the Scottish charity sector’s longest running industrial disputes to an end. In 2018, the charity said it was de-recognising the union following disagreements over the implementation of its 2017 to 2020 strategic plan. Unison subsequently went to court to force the charity to recognise it. The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), which heard the charity’s appeal, is a state agency that can compel an employer to recognise and work with a trade union where more than half of the workforce are members. The union won its right to proceed at the CAC and meetings were also held with health secretary Jeane Freeman. There has now been a signing-off of a new voluntary recognition agreement. Mike Kirby, Unison Scottish secretary, said: “This agreement establishes new working relations with Cornerstone. We look forward to a const ructive engagement which will benefit Unison members and the whole workforce, will contribute to the development of the organisation and ultimately enhance the service to users and carers.” Andrew Lockhart, Cornerstone chair, said: “We look forward to working with Unison towards a common objective that drives the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the organisation whilst promoting security of employment and advancement of employees and workers.”

Third Force News

GOVERNANCE

Charity mismanaged workplace harassment complaints

The Charity Commission has criticised Save the Children UK over failures in its response to complaints about its former bosses. The regulator’s report highlights “serious weaknesses” in the charity’s workplace culture and its failure to handle complaints about the allegations of workplace harassment amounted to “mismanagement.” The Charity Commission said the charity should have been more transparent with the regulator, its own trustees and the public when complaints were raised in 2012 and 2015, and were subsequently made public in 2018. Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: “Charities should be distinct from other types of organisations in their attitude and behaviour, in their motivations and methods. The public rightly expect that; so do the majority of people working in charities, who deserve a workplace culture that is healthy, supportive, and safe. Creating that culture is not just about putting the right systems and processes in place; it also requires leaders who model the highest standards of behaviour and conduct, and who are held to account properly and consistently when they fall short.” Kevin Watkins, the charity’s CEO, has admitted that the organisation failed to take sufficient action against former bosses Brendan Cox and Justin Forsyth following accusations of sexual harassment made by female employees. Mr Watkins said: “We were too defensive and ended up using too many lawyers when it wasn’t necessary. Even more seriously, we hurt the women who had already been victims of the actions we were investigating.”

GOV.UK, Civil Society, Daily Mail, UKFundraising

RISK

Charities report 102 data breaches in Q3 2019-20

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) was informed of 102 data breaches at charities between October and December 2019. The ICO received 2,795 reports in total; the charity sector accounted for 3.6% of all reports received. The majority of the incidents involving charities were classified as “other non-cyber incident” (31), followed by “loss/theft of paperwork or data left in insecure location” (19) and “phishing” (12). Meanwhile, an insurer has warned that charities are complacent about cyber-crime and only half of organisations have an adequate plan to deal with a cyber-breach. Research by Ecclesiastical Insurance found that just over half (52%) of organisations have a cybersecurity plan in place, and fewer have a specific cyber-risk management plan (42%) or cyber-insurance (42%). Angus Roy, charity director at Ecclesiastical, said: “Many charities still don’t se e themse lves being at risk of cyber-crime, or if they do, they think they can transfer the risk to their IT provider. The fact is that charities are an increasingly attractive target to cyber-criminals and if they are victims of a cyber incident, it will be them and not the IT provider that has to deal with the reputational fallout.”

Civil Society, Third Force News

LEGAL

Regulator wants charities’ views on criminal convictions data

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) wants charities’ opinions on regulation around vital safeguarding information available through criminal convictions data. The ICO survey closes this Friday and is focused on Article 10 of the EU privacy law known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Article 10 relates to a register of criminal convictions of those involved in an organisation. “If you are a controller and you process Article 10 data, we want to hear from you,” says the ICO, adding “We are currently seeking input from individuals representing the HR, retail, building, transport and charity sectors. However, no matter what sector you represent, if you deal with personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences on a regular basis we would like to hear from you.”

Charity Digital

OTHER

Charities have celebrated International Women’s Day 2020

Civil Society reports on how various charities celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020. Refuge, for example, partnered with women to donate their Twitter names to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline. Women who took part included Little Mix, Lorraine Kelly and Miranda Hart. Elsewhere, RSPB in Northern Ireland posted a blog highlighting some female “birders” who fly in the face of certain stereotypes about the hobby.

Civil Society