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Claire Stradling

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Claire Stradling

Manager of Charities and NFP

I head up our charity and not for profit division specialising in Finance and HR appointments. I manage a team as well as recruiting for senior level Finance Director, HRD, and CFO roles myself both on a contingency and a retained basis.

I have a large network of clients within the charity sector including NGOs, large international and national charities through to smaller charities and not for profit organisations.

I have over 25 years in recruitment experience and still love the industry. Having a keen interest in charities and charitable causes myself, the move to recruiting for the sector was a natural progression. I have been lucky enough to win many awards throughout my career for my performance which is because I believe I really listen to both our Clients and Candidates and really try to understand both’s unique requirements prior to matching.

Being born and bred in Birmingham, I am a massive Aston Villa fan and try and watch as many games as possible either live or on the TV. I am also a big music fan and go to lots of Gigs. I love a good book and spending time eating and enjoying wine with friends.

claire's latest roles

  • Operations Manager

    £35000.00 - £45000.00 per annum

    Operations Manager - Maternity Cover London , £35,000 - £45,000 Are you an experienced Operations/Project Manager? Do you have experience or both risk and security? Do you have a good understanding of HR? If...

  • HR advisor

    Up to £40150.00 per annum

    Human Resources Advisor - London 3 month FTC or time-sheet £40,000 pa An international charity in London are looking for a Human Resources Advisor, initially for 3 months (may be extended) You will support t...

  • IT Trainer - Dynamics 365

    £300 - £400 per annum

    A national disability charity are seeking an IT Trainer with experience of Dynamics 365 for approx. 6 months. You will deliver predominately the finance training of the new technology system - Microsoft Dyna...

  • Senior Major Donor Fundraiser

    £40000 - £45000 per annum

    Snr Major Donor Fundraiser London £40,000-£45,000 pa Are you an experienced fundraiser who has worked in face to face cultivation of support which could be within Community, Corporate or Major Donor Fundrais...

  • Commercial Director

    OTE 95000

    Sales & Marketing Director London Up to £70,000 pa OTE £95,000 Do you have proven experience as a Commercial Director or similar role? Do you have proven experience in Sales and/or Marketing Do you have an i...

  • HR Change Manager

    £320 - £400 per day

    Change Manager, HR London £320 - £400 per day (Inside IR35) Are you a CIPD (or evq) HR Manager/BP? Do you have Change experience? Have you worked for a multi-national matrix organisation? If so, a large, mul...

  • Transforming HR Lead - Cluster Change


    Hr Transformation Lead - 12 month FTC From £60,000 Do you have strong experience in mobilising and delivering on a large scale HR organisational change programme? Do you have experience of working on Program...

  • SAP Senior Consultant - SuccessFactors

    £450 - £550 per annum + Inside IR35

    Are you an expert SuccessFactors consultant? Have you led of a full life-cycle end to end implementation for a global organisation including design, configuration and implementation? Are you certified in Emp...


What people say about Claire

Claire at Pro Group is a star! Her professionalism and reliability is clearly without parallel . . . I found her recruitment skills to be of a high calibre, and her approach was very refreshing and personal and it made me feel confident in her ability to place me in suitable role...

Firstly thank you so much for being one of the best recruitment consultants, I have dealt with during my search, you are few and far between. Your professional approach with honest and responsive conversation, is exactly what a candidate like...

Claire recently supported me in my quest in finding a new senior HR role. Throughout the experience she was proactive, listened to feedback and worked positively with both her client and myself to discuss, if a role was truly right for me as a person...


Companies Claire has worked with

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  • W1siziisijiwmtkvmdyvmjgvmdkvmdyvmzqvndm4l0nhc2ugu3r1zhkgtg9nbybuzw1wbgf0zsaomtu4edgychgpicgzmykucg5nil0swyjwiiwidgh1bwiilcixnth4odijil1d
  • W1siziisijiwmtkvmdyvmjgvmdkvmdyvntgvotkyl0nhc2ugu3r1zhkgtg9nbybuzw1wbgf0zsaomtu4edgychgpicgynikucg5nil0swyjwiiwidgh1bwiilcixnth4odijil1d

Parkinson's UK is a charity who empower and support thousands of people living with the condition, inspire health and social care professionals to help drive better care and steer ground-breaking research to improve treatments and to find a cure.

In October 2018 likeminded housing associations Metropolitan and Thames Valley Housing formally completed a partnership to form Metropolitan Thames Valley. Metropolitan Thames Valley provides housing at different levels of affordability for people living in London, the South East, East Midlands and East of England.

Travelzoo is a global media company with over 25 million members across 26 offices worldwide. They publish travel entertainment deals all over the world and have 500+ employees globally.


claire's articles


Charity Times - 15/10/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING U-turn on probate fee plans The government has decided not to introduce new probate fee plans that charity bodies including the Institute of Fundraising, Remember A Charity, NCVO and the Institute of Legacy Management had warned could have cost charities as much as £10m. Robert Buckland, the secretary of state for justice, said the plans for a new probate fee regime had been ditched and a broader review of court fees will be carried out. Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, was among those in the sector who welcomed the government's announcement. He said: “We're hugely relieved to hear that there will be no major increase to probate fees and that that the current structure will be retained, at least for the time being. Charities large and small rely heavily on gifts in wills. Worth around £3bn a year, we simply can’t afford to risk jeopardising such an important income stream or to reverse the trend for growth in legacy giving . . . We’ll continue to work closely with the government to ensure the sector’s views are heard and that the legacy environment is protected.” Civil Society Legacy consideration is on the increase A new league table suggests more people are considering the idea of leaving a legacy. The Legacy Potential Premier League Table 2019-2020 from fastmap and Freestyle Marketing ranks charities on the propensity of their supporters to leave them a gift in their Will. Animal charities take the first five places in the league table, which was compiled by taking into accounts factors including motivations and barriers to giving, and how often supporters consider and reject a charity for legacy giving. Cats Protection retains first place from last year, followed by The Donkey Sanctuary, Battersea, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross. The top ten is rounded out by Breast Cancer Now, Cancer Research UK, RSPCA, Alzheimer’s Research UK, and PDSA. David Cole, fastmap Managing Director, sai d: "Legacy consideration is a window into the future as regards to likely legacy revenue," noting also that “Charities need to create a unique proposition, invest more in marketing, and not be afraid to make changes.” UKFundraising Small charities do well on digital fundraising platforms Charity Digital News takes a look at some of the charity organisations - including smaller ones - that are doing best at raising money on online fundraising platforms such as JustGiving. Charities profiled include SpecialEffect, SWAN UK, Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, Tribe Freedom Foundation, and Sophie Hayes Foundation. Charity Digital News RISK Charity Fraud Awareness Week is coming A week of campaigning to raise awareness of charity security issues, including advise on combatting cyber-crime, takes place next week. Charity Fraud Awareness Week (October 21st-25th) is being promoted through social media using #CharityFraudOut and brings together security and charity experts to warn of threats and share good practice in tackling fraud, financial crime and other threats. The week has the strapline All Together Now. The Fraud Advisory Panel, one of the bodies involved in the week's activity alongside the Charity Commission for England and Wales and UK Finance, said in a statement: “With reported fraud increasing at an alarming rate it is vital for charities of all shapes and sizes to protect their income and assets by building strong defences . . . Charity Fraud Awareness Week promotes openness and honesty about fraud. It brings together everyone involved in the charity and not-for-profit sectors to raise awareness and share good practice in tackling fraud and financial crime.” Charity Digital News COMMUNICATION Charities must deal with data complaints better, regulator says The Fundraising Regulator has warned that charities need better systems for dealing with data complaints, including requests from members of the public wishing to cease contact. Gerald Oppenheim, the regulator’s chief executive, told attendees at last week's Voluntary Data Conference in London that around a fifth of all complaints it received between 2017-18 related to how supporter data is managed. "It was clear there were some charities that weren’t taking enough – or swift enough – action to deal with requests from supporters wishing not to be contacted,” he said. Mr Oppenheim also noted that charities had responded well to the introduction of EU privacy laws. “There has been a short-term hit on fundraising income as a result of GDPR for some charities, but most are predicting a growth in income over the next three years," he said. The regulator has launched its redrafted Code of Fundraising Practice to make it easier for fundraisers, charities and third-party organisations to understand expected fundraising standards. Organisations are being urged to ensure their fundraising materials, training and policies are brought up to date to reflect the revised standards in the new code. Charity Times Charity silence on big issues risks losing public trust Charity leaders attending NPC’s annual conference have been urged to call out societal problems or risk losing the public's trust. Immy Kaur, co-founder of Impact Hub, said that leaders should “take responsibility for the new narratives” that might come from a “rapidly changing [narrative] ecology” and be “really deliberate on rejecting the narratives that we currently have.” Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, added that he feels “frustrated” that “not only does [government] not recognise the impact that organisations have and what they can achieve by working with them, but too often it actually mitigates against them and it gets in the way of those organisations making a difference.” Charity Commission CEO Helen Stephenson nevertheless observed that charity workers should “think carefully” about what they say because divides in the country “are not necessarily drawn along party political lines.” She cautioned: “Your beneficiaries, your trustees and your volunteers may hold very different worldviews from you, and so when you are speaking up on behalf of your charity, make sure that you are speaking up on behalf of your cause and your beneficiaries, not on your worldview.” Civil Society DIVERSITY Coalition aims to tackle inclusion issues A coalition that seeks to tackle the charity sector's diversity and inclusion issues has been formed by 13 charitable foundations. The diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) coalition says it “will provide a forum for the implementation of frameworks, processes and procedures within foundations and is focused on building a body of practice for themselves and others in the UK sector to learn from.” The 13 foundations include the National Lottery Community Fund, Children in Need, Barrow Cadbury, Lloyds Bank Foundation, and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Carol Mack, the chief executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), said: “Addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion is a pressing issue for the foundation sector and the positive response to our report DEI: The pillars of stronger foundation practice, shows th ere is enthusiasm and energy for action. I . . . wholeheartedly welcome the initiative. This is a significant step for the foundation community and we look forward to seeing how it develops and to share learning with our wider membership.” Civil Society Initiative to double number of young charity trustees by 2024 A new movement has launched that seeks to double the number of young charity trustees within five years. The Young Trustees Movement, launched by the Social Change Agency and supported by the Blagrave Trust, Esmee Faribairn Foundation, Co-op Foundation, Zing and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, wants to increase the number of people under the age of 30 on charity boards through the use of practical advice, guidance and a campaign for wider trustee diversity. Kira Lewis, a 19-year-old trustee, said: “With dire statistics such as one in twelve trustees being called either John or David, less than 3 per cent of charity trustees being under 30 and less than 1 per cent being under 25, it’s no secret that board diversity is an issue." Charity Times FINANCE Financial crisis threatens Royal National College for the Blind One of the country's most historic educational centres for young blind people is warning that financial pressures are threatening its survival. The Royal National College for the Blind, which has operated for almost 150 years, says without extra funding it will cease to be sustainable. Lucy Proctor, chief executive of the college's charitable trust, has blamed a squeeze on special-needs budgets. But the government is promising a £700m increase for special needs. Former education secretary Lord Blunkett, who was himself a student at the college, said he was "very concerned" that such a "unique national asset" was at risk. BBC News RETAIL Charity Shops Survey 2019 Civil Society presents the findings of its Charity Shops Survey 2019, which suggests a continuing trend for fewer shops, but higher profits, and a growth in big out-of-town charity 'superstores.' Civil Society LEGAL Aberdeen Council loses legal fight with charity Centric Community Projects Limited has won a legal battle against Aberdeen City Council after the charity was prevented from claiming relief from business rates. A spokeswoman for the council said: “Aberdeen City Council has received the judgement and will consider its position.” Centric Community Projects Limited declined to comment. Meanwhile, Third Force News reports that the Charity Retail Association is urging politicians in Scotland to grant full business rate relief to all charity shops. The association wants the Scottish Government to use the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill and further reform to recognise the environmental benefits of charity shops. Robin Osterley, the association's chief executive, said: “Business rates reform is an opportunity to recognise the waste reduction activities of charity shops which ultimately, lowers carbon emissions." Evening Express Third Force News CAMPAIGNS Middle-class finances at risk after decade of cheap mortgages Debt charity Stepchange warns that an increasing number of middle-class families are at risk of falling into debt after a decade of low-cost mortgage deals. Stepchange said that wealthier households may struggle to cope with a change in circumstances, such as losing a job, after over-committing themselves financially. The Times Topshop in mental health launch Topshop and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have teamed up to mark World Mental Health Day with the launch of a 13-piece collection. Each item is based on the ‘speaking out’ theme. The charity receives £5 from every item sold towards funding its helpline and webchat. Metro ​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>


Charity Times - 08/10/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNANCE Baroness Stowell: Charities not delivering full potential Charity Commission chair Baroness Stowell has said that charities collectively are not delivering their full potential as sources of belonging and cohesion. Speaking at the regulator's annual public meeting, she said: "charities no longer have the public's benefit of the doubt." "We live in a country and in a time marked by division and tension," she said. The Brexit debate has "laid bare fundamental divides that transcend old right and left differences," and charities should be the "force" healing divisions in society. The Baroness claimed, "charities are not just measured in the worthiness of their cause but measured also in the way that cause is furthered by the behaviours and attitudes displayed." Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, said the regulator's role was to hold charities to account on "public expectation." Stowell added its role is to "help the public see whether or not a charity is behaving and thinking in an authentically charitable way, distinct from the attitudes that might prevail in a commercial organisation that is focused on growth and expansion." Civil Society House of Lords celebration for charities’ finance leaders The beginning of Charity Finance Week was marked in the House of Lords yesterday afternoon, with Baroness Pitkeathley, president of NCVO, addressing 120 charity finance professionals at a reception. She noted that it is the second year Civil Society Media has organised a dedicated week to highlight the important role of finance leaders in the sector. Matthew Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media, remarked: "Coming from a finance background myself, I know what a vital role you all play in safeguarding and enhancing the fantastic work of your charities. From financial strategy to compliance to risk management to impact measurement, your influence is far-reaching." Meanwhile, this month’s Charity Finance magazine by Civil Society Media features an article from Kate Sayer, visiting fellow at Cass Business School, which includes a new template for annual reports which will focus more on the difference made by charities. Civil Society New charity ambassador for Cancer Support Scotland Cancer Support Scotland has a new ambassador, with STV television presenter Laura Boyd stating: “I am delighted to be an ambassador for Cancer Support Scotland. It’s a charity I have both used and worked with over the years and I know the services they offer mean so much to so many people – me included.” She continued: “It’s nice to be part of something that can help change lives and I look forward to lending my support going forward.” Meanwhile, Rob Murray, the charity’s chief executive commented: “I’m confident Laura representing our charity and speaking about her experiences will play a positive role in letting young women know of the benefits counselling and complementary therapy can have to those affected by cancer.” Third Force News LEGAL Glasgow City Council faces legal action from Shelter Scotland Shelter Scotland has started legal action against Glasgow City Council over what it claims are "failings" in its homelessness services. It follows concerns over "gatekeeping", where a homeless person is denied access to services. The charity claims people have been illegally denied a place in temporary accommodation, and is now seeking a judicial review at the Court of Session, following the council's inability to respond to a pre-action letter, which set a deadline of 30 September. Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: "We are not taking this action lightly. We exist to fight for people's rights to a decent home and to stop homelessness happening. By taking legal action we are trying to stop Glasgow City Council denying hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people their right to a roof over their head. Rights are not a privilege - they are a legal entitlement enforceable by law and the council should not be allowed to disregard the law with impunity." Shelter Scotland has raised more than £15,000 to fund the action, through a crowdfunding campaign. The Scotsman The Herald STV News FINANCE Refugee charity complains about UK government funding U-turn The Scottish Refugee Council has complained after being informed that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, funding to help refugees settle in the UK will come to an end. The charity claims that assurances were previously given by Westminster that funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) would continue to be made available after Britain leaves the European Union, with Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council stating: "We are shocked and angry about this reversal of assurances given to us by the Home Office last year.” The charity had won a bid last year for £2.2m in funding from the EU’s AMIF funding stream intended to implement activities for the integration of refugees in Scotland, and has now teamed up with fellow recipients the Refugee Council, Refugee Action, Barnet Refugee Service, the Refugee Women’s Association< /strong> and the Refugee Education Training Advice Service to write to Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid. A Home Office spokesperson noted: “We are committed to effective integration… Our focus is on supporting refugees with English language, employment and entrepreneurship, and wellbeing.” Third Force News Simplifying the Statement of Financial Activities Don Bawtree, head of charities at BDO, writes in Civil Society on how a charity’s activities could be given a clearer and more user-friendly portrayal if the statement of financial activities were changed. He notes that charity accounts being too complicated was a theme of the charities SORP governance review published in June, and suggests that some charities have a choice regarding how they prepare their accounts, though "the scope for simplifying the accounting for the vast majority of charities is limited to what can be achieved in practical terms within the boundaries of the existing legislative framework." He also suggests that there is scope to simplify both presentation and some of the accounting policies. He provides an example of what a simplified SoFA form might look like, which "may be seen as offering a way forward in the pursuit of a clearer and more user-friendly presentation that most readers will readily understand." Civil Society Hospice funding call A survey by Hospice UK has revealed that 80% of hospices are planning a deficit budget this financial year. The organisation says funding for Britain’s 200 charitable hospices is under threat, and that care for the dying should rely less on local fundraising and hospice shops. Hospice UK is urging the development of a sustainable solution to meet the increasing demand for this care, with earlier research it carried out showing that over 100,000 people are unable to get the end of life care they require. Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, commented: “We are gravely concerned about the financial situation of many charitable hospices. This is symptomatic of how the funding model for end of life care as a whole is broken.” She continued: “It no longer reflects the complexity of modern end of life care and what people actually need, nor the immense growing demand for this care.” Hospice Care Week is running this week to celebrate the work of staff and volunteers. Third Force News Into-work charity sees 59 jobs at risk East Lancashire charity Bootstrap Enterprises, which helps unemployed people find work, has gone into administration, with accountants Mazars LLP looking to secure a rescue deal for the organisation. The charity has 59 staff in Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington, Nelson, Clitheroe and Rawtenstall. Cllr Jamie Groves, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s representative on, and chair of, Bootstrap’s board of trustees, remarked: “This is very, very sad news. The charity has done some fantastic work.” Meanwhile, Patrick Lannagan of Mazars LLP said: “Unfortunately the charity has experienced cash flow difficulties which have led the trustees to take the difficult decision to place the company into administration.” He went on: “Our priority is to ensure continuity of service and support for all service users, whilst we work with the company’s committed and experienced staff and contractual partners to find the best solution.” Lancashire Telegraph FUNDRAISING MS Society in £100m fundraising appeal The MS Society’s biggest ever public fundraising appeal has been launched, with a goal of raising £100m to fight multiple sclerosis. An advertising campaign will feature people living with the condition to raise funds over a decade-long period. Nick Moberly, chief executive of the charity, noted: "Research has got us to a critical point, and we can see a future where nobody needs to worry about MS getting worse." He went on: "We believe we can stop MS, and the worldwide research community is coming together to help us achieve our ambitious goal. But we need to act now, and we need help." Publicis Health and Mediacom have worked on the campaign with the charity, with award-winning director James Lawes, who has previously directed films for Cancer Research UK and Age UK, also involved. Publicis Health’s chief creative officer Andrew Spurgeon commented: "Our ambition as a company is to create a world where people are equipped and motivated to take control of their health. The Stop MS campaign is the first of hopefully many meaningful CSR collaborations which really brings this to life." Civil Society PharmaField Climate pledge from fundraisers In a letter to members this week, Institute of Fundraising (IoF) chief executive Peter Lewis has announced a set of actions to tackle the climate emergency. After a roundtable on fundraising and the environment, among other activities, a series of eight commitments were approved by the organisation’s board. These include collaborating with the charity sector for a stronger voice and embedding climate change as a theme in its work. Mr Lewis noted: “We have been reducing the environmental impact of the Institute over the last few years. But we need to do more.” He went on: “As fundraisers, we have specific opportunities to make essential change. Whether it’s in the choices we make on how we fundraise, the donations we accept or refuse, or through the engagement we have with millions of people who support and donate to charities, we can be part of the change that’s needed.” Third Force News Yorkshire schools receive charity boost The Education Foundation of the Archbishop Holgate Hospital in Hemsworth has awarded more than £40,000 in funding to local schools to help improve lessons and facilities for pupils. The grants have been awarded for a variety of purposes, including the purchase of a learning library, musical instruments and ICT equipment. The Education Foundation of Archbishop Holgate runs alongside the main charity, with the object of promoting education to local people under 25 years who are in need of financial assistance. Yorkshire Post SAFEGUARDING Free online safeguarding resources launched by NCVO NCVO has launched free online resources, including a guide for fundraising managers, intended to help voluntary organisations with their safeguarding. They also include steps that organisations can take to prevent beneficiaries, staff and others from harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect, developed in collaboration with an NCVO-led partnership forming part of phase one of the Safeguarding Training Fund announced in March by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The NSPCC, the Ann Craft Trust, UK Youth, Protect, Children England, Charities HR Network, the FSI, NAVCA, ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), Action With Communities, National Adult Safeguarding Network, Third Sector Safeguarding Network and the National Youth Safeguarding Forum are also involved with the initiative. Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy, Planning and Communications at the Charity Commission for England and Wales, remarked: "Everyone involved in charities has the right to feel safe… Charities should be places where people know the signs and symptoms of harm and what to do when they have concerns, as well as the understanding that they will be heard." Fundraising DIGITAL Essential software for charities An article on how charities can make use of digital focuses on the best deals and discounts available. The Office 365 suite is listed under the Productivity category, while Xero is included in the accounting section, offering a free 30-day trial, with most packages 50% for the first three months. Social media management can be carried out using Hootsuite, Lightful or TweetDeck, while HR systems such as BreatheHR are tailored especially for charities. Finally, it is noted that security products are available as donations for eligible charities, including Bitdefender, Symantec and most recently Avast, from the Charity Digital Exchange. Charity Digital News OTHER Asylum seekers left without hot water The Asylum Seeker Housing Project has claimed that since September 16, when a centralised UK-wide housing repairs line was established, it has been impossible to get repairs carried out at Home Office-provided accommodation. The charity’s current caseload includes two families left without hot water, including a woman with a young baby and a family with four children, one of whom is disabled, while one person being supported by the charity has had no hot water for almost three weeks, and another has been left without a flushing toilet for 11 days. The new system was put in place when the contract for accommodation moved from Serco to Mears Group, but Sheila Arthur from the charity says calls to the line are rarely picked up. The National ​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>


Charity Times - 01/10/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

WORKFORCE Charity communications professionals aren't representative of demographics A report from CharityComms says the charity sector’s communication and digital roles are overwhelmingly white and educated to graduate level, and people of colour are more likely to experience harassment at work. The 2019 Salary and Organisational Culture Report found that 93% of communications professionals in the sector are white, and people of colour are typically paid less. The survey, which polled 668 sector communication professionals, also found that 92% of people in such roles were educated at least to degree level. Elsewhere, people of colour in charity communicator roles are more than a third (39%) more likely to have experienced workplace harassment than their white peers. Digital consultant Zoe Amar said: “Not only is it harder for charities to attract people of colour, but they are more likely to be unhappy in their roles, and to look outside of the sector for their next job. We canno t afford to lose talent like this.” Meanwhile, #NonGraduatesWelcome, a campaign that is urging charities to look beyond formal qualifications when hiring, has launched its manifesto and website. “In its place we want charities to be clearer with applicants about the skills, abilities, knowledge and experience needed to be successful in the role, empowering applicants to decide how best to demonstrate their suitability,” the manifesto states. Charity Digital News Civil Society UKFundraising STRATEGY Charities fear they lack funds to meet objectives A study by charity investment managers Brewin Dolphin suggests political uncertainty and economic downturn have contributed to charities fearing they can't meet objectives. The Charity Investment: navigating uncertain times report suggests charities aren't confident about their ability to generate the necessary income to meet their charitable targets at a time when they are being asked to achieve more after a decade of austerity. Ruth Murphy, head of charities at Brewin Dolphin, said: "Charities are being asked to take on more every year and cracks are beginning to show, particularly for small and medium-sized charities." She added: "Charities have long relied on their investments to provide much-needed income, but political uncertainty, the volatility in the markets and the threat of a global recession very much preys on trustees’ minds. Third Force News UKFundraising FUNDRAISING Funders must show confidence in small charities A report from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) says funders should demonstrate confidence in smaller charities, build long-term relationships and create an atmosphere of honesty to help instil resilience. Beth Clarke at CAF said of the How funders can do more to support the resilience of small charities report: “We see the programme as a stepping stone in a wider campaign, one that encourages small charities to have a more prominent voice with funders, charitable trusts and the government.” Five core recommendations for funders are outlined in the report, and Clarke added "In uncertain times, organisational resilience has perhaps never been more crucial for small charities across the UK.” Meanwhile, Small Charities Coalition CEO Rita Chadha said: “This is a vitally important and essential read for both funders and small charities . . . In focusing on resilience, and forcing funders to 'show more confidence' in small charities, the report makes a welcome and vital contribution to helping to level the playing field between big and small charities.” Civil Society Poll reveals popular perceptions of fundraising as a career Institute of Fundraising research on public perceptions of fundraising suggests that more than half (57%) of the UK public would be proud to work in the charity sector but only a quarter would be interested in working in fundraising. The Perceptions of fundraising as a career survey found that the main reasons people would not consider fundraising as a career are because the work doesn’t interest them (cited by 35% of respondents) and because they are happy in their current career (31%). Remuneration was cited as an issue for 22% of respondents, and 28% said they didn't think a career in fundraising offered the potential to earn a good income. UKFundraising Thursday is Gift Aid Awareness Day The second annual Gift Aid Awareness Day, organised by Charity Finance Group, takes place on Thursday (October 3rd). The aim of the day is to help charities encourage more donors to Gift Aid their eligible donations. UKFundraising GOVERNANCE Surge in whistleblowing complaints to the Charity Commission Whistleblowing disclosures to the Charity Commission have surged in the last two years, according to a report from the regulator. A total of 185 whistleblowing reports were received between April 1st 2018 and March 31st 2019, up 83% on the 101 disclosures received in 2017-18. The most-reported issues in 2018-19 were safeguarding, governance, and fraud or money-laundering. Terrorism and charities being set up for improper use were also widespread causes for whistleblower concern. The Commission's report states: “Whilst we cannot be certain, this increase is likely to have been influenced by the high-profile nature of safeguarding incidents emerging from the charity sector this year, which may have encouraged others to come forward with concerns.” Volunteers are now included in a broadened definition of whistleblower. “We have a regulatory interest in encouraging people on the inside of charity to report their serious concerns to us so that we are better able to detect problems in charities. For this reason, during the year we began to treat charity volunteers as well as charity workers as whistleblowers, where appropriate . . . It’s a significant change that extends our ability to identify serious concerns that we need to act on," the report explained. Civil Society Housing charity receives official warning An official warning has been given to Bristol Sheltered Accommodation and Support (BSAS) by the Charity Commission. The regulator said the charity “let down” its residents “over a long period of time.” Five residents have died at a property managed by the charity since 2014. The Charity Commission identified weaknesses in the charity’s records which meant the trustees “could not evidence having discussed and addressed serious safeguarding incidents, including the deaths of residents, appropriately.” Amy Spiller, head of investigations at the Commission, said: “It’s clear from our investigation that this charity was mismanaged over a long period of time, and that its trustees repeatedly disregarded regulatory advice and were receiving unauthorised payments. All charities should be managed with care and probity, and residents of Wick House and their families have been let down. We have held the charity to account for these failings." Civil Society BBC News Guides launched to help tackle trustee conflict A series of guides has been published by the Association of Chairs (AoC) to help charity chairs tackle trustee conflict and manage board relationships more effectively. The Working with trustees guides are in response to feedback from chairs who says their biggest challenges are getting the best out of a “disparate group of individuals” and managing conflict. AoC chief executive Ros Oakley said: “When trustees fail to work together well, governance and the charity suffer. But building really strong working relationships around the board table is challenging, and up to now there has been little help. These new guides fill that gap and are full of practical suggestions and ideas for Chairs. Building strong relationships among board members helps them be more resilient when the going gets tough and in good times helps unleash their potential for bold and creative leadership.” Charity Times DIGITAL App aims to help charities partner with businesses The Fundr app seeks to help charities identify corporate partnership opportunities. The platform allows charities to search around 500 continually updated opportunities and offers filtering by region, key dates, value of the partnership and details about the nature of support being offered. Fundr co-founder Adam McKenzie says: “Fundr has been created specifically for fundraisers and my hope is that it becomes a vital extra tool that supports them to focus their efforts and find their ideal charity partner.” Charity Digital News LEGAL New guidance on campaigning for charities New guidance for charities about campaigning in the run-up to elections and referendums has been published by the Electoral Commission, which has been working on the new guidance since 2018. Charities have previously complained that a lack of clarity on rules has contributed to them feeling silenced during pre-election periods. Douglas Dowell, policy manager from NCVO, has written: "The Electoral Commission’s guidance on what electoral law means for your campaigning in the run-up to an election hasn't been clear or reassuring enough. As a result, it's made lots of charities think the rules are more restrictive than they actually are." Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, observed: "This new guidance provides much greater clarity for charities and should make it clearer that charities can campaign with confidence. Although there are still issues which we believe need changes to the legislation itse lf, we a re very please that the Electoral Commission has taken our feedback on board and done what it can within current electoral law to address many of the concerns charities have expressed about their ability to campaign". Louise Edwards, the Electoral Commission's director of regulation, said: "We understand the challenges faced by organisations which don't regularly engage in political campaigning, and it's an important part of our role to support them in understanding how they can comply with the law. Campaigning is a vital part of the democratic process and we hope this guidance will enable groups to campaign with confidence all year-round". Civil Society Judge questions RSPCA’s future as a prosecutor The RSPCA's future in bringing private prosecutions has been brought into question by a judge after the charity allegedly stoked a hate campaign against a man who failed to properly care for puppies. Mark Burgess, 39, received death threats and was ostracised in his community. The charity was accused by District Judge Justin Barron of issuing emotive, unbalanced and misleading publicity that had worsened the public's reaction, leading the judge to consider "whether the RSPCA should continue to conduct its own prosecutions." The criticism will revive debate over the charity bringing suspects to court rather than handing evidence to the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The RSPCA is regarded as the country's largest private prosecutor with convictions rising to 1,678 last year. The Times ​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>


Charity Times - 24/09/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING European charities lag in accepting online donations A new report says around half of the charities in Europe are not using their websites for online donations. The 2019 Global NGP Technology Report found that 56% of charities and NGOs in Europe with a website - about 8% below the global average - are using their online presence to accept web-based donations. In Africa, 64% of third sector groups accept credit card payments on their website. The report from Funraise and Nonprofit Tech for Good nevertheless found that European charities are among the best in the world for digital security: 86% of European charitable organisations have a privacy policy on their website, which is more than any other region. Charity Digital News Charities slammed over premium-rate phone lines Charities that use premium numbers which can charge callers as much as 72p have been criticised by the fair telecoms campaign. A briefing published by the campaign last week said charities earn comparatively little from the calls, with the majority of revenue going to phone companies. Paula Ojok, chief executive at Helplines Partnership, said: “We recognise that many charities face funding difficulties and that a freephone number represents an additional cost for the organisation . . . . However, as the membership body for organisations that provide information, support or advice via phone, email, text or online, we would encourage all helplines to access a freephone or low-cost number such as the Helpline Freephone Range (HFR)." Civil Society Pride computer game raises donations for LGBTQ+ charity Charity Digital News reports on how LGBTQ+ charity Kaleidoscope Trust has partnered with gaming firm Green Man Gaming to receive donations through sales of a computer game where players have to keep their own Pride parade on track and protect it from abuse. Kaleidoscope Trust will gain 10% of sales of the Pride Run game through its deal with Green Man Gaming. Charity Digital News Gift Aid donations hit record Data from the Office for National Statistics show that taxpayers made record-breaking gift-aided donations of more than £5.4bn to charity last year, to which HM Revenue & Customs added £1.35bn. The Times GOVERNANCE Fundraising Regulator publishes ten investigations The Fundraising Regulator has published the names and details of investigations into ten charities and agencies including JustGiving, NSPCC, Salvation Army, Alzheimer’s Society and NDCS. This is a change in approach for the regulator; earlier this year it said it would name those involved in investigations and these are the first reports to be published. Seven out of the 10 investigations were found to involve a breach of the Code of Fundraising. Catherine Orr, head of casework at the Fundraising Regulator, said in a blog: "We think it’s right that we name all the organisations we investigate, so that we promote and support a culture of ethical fundraising, allow the public, donors and potential donors to make informed decisions when they choose to donate to charity, and ensure we are transparent in our investigations process . . . This brings our investigation work in line with that of other regulators such as the Charity Commission which names the organisations that it investigates." Civil Society DIGITAL How Missing People is using digital outdoor advertising Missing People is to use digital outdoor billboards to boost the regional reach of its appeals a week after announcing its link up with an online travel industry network. The digital out of home (OOH) advertising campaign will feature on roadside and city centre locations and detail the missing person’s name, age, photo and the date and location when they went missing. It also features a free number for people to call or text; it has been organised by digital OOH advertising specialist QDOT, which is also using the measurement platform PlayTrack to evaluate the campaign. The weekly Missing People appeals will be used by digital OOH media firms including JCDecaux, Maxx Media, Limited Space and Perfect Fit Media. Charity Digital News Heritage charities embrace digital Heritage and culture organisations are embracing the digital era as funding and skills opportunities open up new pathways into digital transformation, reports Charity Digital News. Initiatives such as National Trust’s Heritage Open Days using the hashtag #HODs demonstrate the enormous value that heritage organisations including museums, collections, historic sites and buildings, conservation charities and history societies can gain from embracing digital media. Charity Digital News COMMUNICATIONS Charity Film Awards 2020 is open for entries Charities can now enter online for the Charity Film Awards 2020 ahead of the mid-October deadline. Charity videos can also be nominated by agencies and members of the public. Last year’s winners include Child Bereavement UK, NSPCC/Childline, RSPCA, Cats Protection and Breast Cancer Care. Simon Burton, founder of the awards, said: “Charity Film Awards continues to grow its impact both in terms of the video views we generate and the numbers of votes from members of the public. Simply taking part can provide a huge boost to a charity no matter what its size or focus.” The winners will be announced at a gala event at a venue in London in Spring 2020. UKFundraising STRATEGY Charities urged to be more involved in climate change debate A new poll from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) finds that young people want charities to be more involved in climate change debate. The poll indicates that 46% of people agreed charities are an important part of the climate change debate and just over half (51%) disagreed with the statement "charities should not get involved with the climate change debate." Respondents aged between 16 and 24 were most likely to believe charities are an important part of the debate - 59% said they are of this opinion. Susan Pinkney, CAF head of research, said: “Charities like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth often lead the climate conversation, but perhaps the charity sector at large – along with international bodies, governments and businesses – need to get better at expressing how they’re helping to tackle what is emerging as the defining issue of our age.” Charity Times UKFundraising WORKFORCE Guide for charity communication professionals' mental health CharityComms has published guide for charity communications workers offering mental health advice following concerns about social media abuse and the stressful nature of the role. The guide includes case studies from Alzheimer’s Society, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Sarcoma UK and Time to Change. Kirsty Marrins, the guide's author, said: “The scale of what communications professionals deal with is vast, and it’s important to recognise the daily, ‘business as usual’ situations that communications professionals consistently face, that could be impacting on their mental health. Just because it’s not about them personally, doesn’t mean that it’s not internalised and won’t impact their wellbeing.” Civil Society Charity Digital News PEOPLE A new CEO at the ACO Donal Watkin has been named as the new chief executive of the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO). He takes over from Dominic Fox on November 1st. Donal Watkin said: “I am delighted to be offered the role of CEO at ACO during a time of change within the organisation. ACO has begun work on exciting projects, such as the One Day Changes Lives initiative to raise awareness of its charity members. I look forward to developing these campaigns, as well as continuing to increase the growth of ACO membership." Charity Times CAMPAIGNS Campaign wants crackdown on ‘horrible bosses’ Citizens Advice Scotland is calling for a new organisation to uphold workers' rights. The charity says its advisors regularly deal with cases where “horrible bosses” exploit their employees, either through underpaying them or breaching workplace rights such as paid holidays or maternity leave. Citizens Advice social justice spokesperson Mhoraig Green said: “It’s clear from clients across Scotland who are contacting Citizens Advice Bureaux that there are employers who are still ripping off workers . . . The creation of a national organisation to enforce employment laws would stamp out illegal work practices and uphold the rights of workers who are simply doing their honest day’s work.” Third Force News Pensioners sell 400 homes a week to fund care New figures compiled by Independent Age have revealed that around 400 pensioners sell their homes each week to fund social care. The charity revealed that 21,120 owners sold up last year, compared with just 11,880 in 2000. The charity said the figures highlight the scale of a crisis in which anyone with more than £23,250 in savings, including their property value, is denied state help. The report also found that only some councils offer “deferred payment agreements” that save people having to sell up before their death. “Even arranging deferred payment agreements – a safety net to prevent people having to sell their homes within their lifetime – is proving to be a postcode lottery and doesn’t address the unacceptable situation where people are still required to spend a catastrophic amount on their care,” commented campaigns manager Morgan Vine. Daily Mail The Times OTHER No-deal could cause medical confusion Aisling Burnand, chief executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities, has warned that patients could face needless anxiety if their daily tablets are switched to a new brand and are a different colour because of supply issues caused by a no-deal Brexit. She claimed that in the case of dementia patients, the confusion could lead to some people not taking the pills at all. Industry leaders say they have been in detailed talks with the government for three years and have stockpiles for six weeks or longer but they do not know how restocking will work out after that. The Guardian INTERNATIONAL France plans to ban luxury brands from dumping unsold stock France could become the first country to ban retailers from destroying unsold goods under legislation going through its parliament. The new law will impose an obligation on manufacturers and retailers to recycle or reuse unsold items, or to give them to charity. Ecology minister Brune Poirson says that goods worth €800m go unsold in France every year; only €140m worth of these goods were given to charities and the rest were destroyed. She singled out the French cosmetics sector, saying that it binned unsold goods worth almost €180m annually. The Times ​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>


Charity Times - 17/09/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNANCE New SORP-making process announced following governance review The Charities SORP-making body has announced plans to change the way the charity accounting framework is developed so it better serves the public. A governance review of the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) earlier this year made several recommendations for reform, which have all been accepted by the agencies which constitute the SORP-making body: the Charity Commission for England and Wales, OSCR the Scottish Charity Regulator, and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Nigel Davies, joint chair and head of accountancy services at the Charity Commission, said: "We know from our own research that the public care deeply about financial transparency from charities. Charity accounts are an important opportunity for trustees to communicate the difference they are making; today’s announcement reflects our joint commitment to ensure that charity accounts work for those that matter - beneficiaries and the public." Myles McKeown, Joint Chair and Head of Compliance and Enquiries at the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, said: "The recent governance review highlighted some positive aspects of the SORP development process, but it also made some constructive suggestions, particularly that charity reporting and accounting must become more user-focused. The changes we are introducing today will lay important foundations to ensure the SORP can continue to be fit for purpose." OSCR Civil Society Charity Update POLICY Civil society minister details her top priorities Newly-appointed civil society minister Baroness Barran says she has three priorities in her role: a focus on building more resilient communities, noting that "civil society organisations can play [a role] in healing some of the divisions that we can see today, whether those are Brexit-shaped divisions or religious, ethnic, generational, class or whatever they might be;” a “broader” and “more universal” approach by government to young people; and a look at how central and local government can better invest money through commissioning with the voluntary and community sector. On Brexit, she says: “We’re very focused on it. There’s a team here who are dedicated to making sure that the particular issues that relate to civil society are taken into account, and that the general issues that might affect everybody are communicated in a way that ensures civil society organisations see themselves in that communication." But Civil Society notes that she has little to say about what level of funding charities can expect to help them deal with the impact of Brexit or replacements for EU funding. Civil Society STRATEGY NCVO wants stronger links with Europe Outgoing National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington has signed a joint declaration of unity with his counterparts in France and Germany in a move that will see him lead a project designed to strengthen the representative body’s ties with Europe. Sir Stuart's last day at the helm of NCVO was Friday and Karl Wilding has now taken over - but he will remain with NCVO until his official retirement date at the end of the year. In a blog post, Sir Stuart wrote: “I know from my time serving on the European Economic and Social Committee, a group that brings together civil society across Europe to inform policy-making, that there is a great deal charities in different countries can do to learn from and support one another . . . Whatever happens politically, we should ensure we are doing what we can to strengthen these links.” Civil Society WORKFORCE Number of charity leaders on BAME index almost doubles This year’s BAME 100 Business Leaders index includes 20 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals from civil society organisations - almost twice as many leaders from the charity sector in the 2017 index (11). The ranking of talent was compiled by diversity experts Green Park to “debunk the myth that diverse talent does not exist.” Kai Adams, partner and head of the charities and social enterprise practice at Green Park, said: “Charities must address their talent strategy, processes and suppliers, or risk losing relevance with the communities they serve." He added: “In 2018, our placements across charities and social enterprises were 20% BAME overall and 27% BAME at chair and trustee level despite a sector average of just 6.6% . . . Therefore, the old excuse of not being able to find diverse and suitably qualified talent does not hold water." Charity Update Civil Society RISK Charities must prepare for no-deal Brexit, NCVO warns The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published new guidance in which the representative body says charities must continue to make "urgent" preparations for a no-deal Brexit. The warning from NCVO comes despite legislation which requires Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay Brexit if an agreement has not been reached with the European Union. Ben Westerman, NCVO’s Brexit analyst, said: "Reviewing the potential impacts of Brexit for your organisation and your cause is an essential part of good governance. The consequences of a no-deal exit will be different for each charity, but . . . It’s particularly important that you review what you need to do now, don’t simply take a ‘wait and see’ approach, as developments could happen very quickly." He added: "There is still some risk of a no-deal exit on that date given the need for agreement from the EU. In any case, the legislation only moves the deadline back twelve weeks, which means preparation is still urgent." Charity Times Civil Society Supply chain must be front of mind The Charity Retail Association (CRA) says charities must not ignore the operational practices of their supply chain. CRA chief executive Robin Osterley said bad practice by a commercial partner could damage a charity’s reputation. He was speaking at the launch of the association’s kitemark scheme for businesses that sell unsold goods from charity shops. “There is a potential reputational risk for charities who are dealing with unknown quantities in terms of the companies they are selling clothing and other things to . . . It is no longer possible for [charities] to just bury their heads in the sand . . . and say ‘we no longer care what is going on out there,’" he said, citing examples of partner companies engaged in practices that could be described as modern slavery. Civil Society Faith-based charities contend with “challenging climate” The inaugural Faith Charities Forum has heard how faith-based charities work in a “challenging climate” in which they face an "additional level of scrutiny" that is based on "inaccurate" perceptions. Islamic Relief Worldwide’s head of governance Khaleel Desai and head of media and external relations Simona French led a session at the event that considered some of the issues faced by faith charities. Among other advice, the pair recommended that those in governance at the trustee level are “fully engaged in the risks” that come with the challenges. Civil Society Academy trustees disqualified over pupil radicalisation attempts Five trustees who ran an east London academy where a teacher tried to radicalise pupils have been disqualified from any similar roles. The Charity Commission investigated Essex Islamic Academy in Barking after Umar Ahmed Haque was convicted of terrorism offences last year. He was initially recruited as an administrative assistant by the academy but he later began teaching classes unsupervised to about 80-100 children. The commission found the trustees had failed to safeguard pupils as young as 11 who were shown videos created by the Islamic State group. BBC News Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Retailers missing out on revenue by overlooking disabled Disability charity Purple says retailers could be missing out on “millions of pounds in revenue” by failing to take the needs of disabled shoppers into account. Research by Purple found that two-thirds of disabled shoppers in the UK have struggled to make a purchase at some point, with most of these people repeatedly coming up against obstacles. Four-fifths of disabled people surveyed said businesses could do more to be accessible. Purple CEO Mike Adams said: “By turning their backs on disabled shoppers, businesses are losing out on millions of pounds of revenue every year. Small changes can make a big difference.” The I The Scotsman No respite for unpaid carers, warns charity A charity says 4m unpaid carers have likely not had a proper break in five years. Research from Carers UK found that 54% of those looking after loved ones were unable to take a break. Half of the 1,000 people polled by the charity said that if they got a break they would spend it catching up on sleep, whilst a third said they would use it to see a doctor about their own health. Freedom of Information data shows that in the last two years eight in 10 of local councils have cut funding that would allow carers to have a break. Carers UK wants the government to double the money handed to local authorities. Daily Mirror Two-in-five patients don’t have visitors Two-fifths (40%) of patients on UK hospital wards get no visitors, say the NHS nurses who care for them. The Royal Voluntary Service charity commissioned a poll of 200 nurses working in acute hospitals in Britain. As well as being socially isolated, having no visitor to help with the "small" things, such as cutting up food or refilling a water glass, can delay a patient's recovery, the nurses say. They want more people to become volunteer visitors and helpers. BBC News The Daily Telegraph Daily Express Daily Mirror The Sun OTHER Blackpool park is voted UK’s best Just days after being voted the best in England, a Blackpool park has now been named the best in the UK. The Grade II-listed Stanley Park, which opened in 1926, beat 364 parks and green spaces in a public vote organised by the charity Fields in Trust. The win received praise from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who tweeted their congratulations. John Blackledge, director of community and environmental services at Blackpool Council, said it was all down to hard work from staff and volunteers. BBC News ​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>


Charity Times - 10/09/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

FINANCE Charities react to the Spending Round The charity sector has warned that that money pledged by Chancellor Sajid Javid in the new government Spending Round will not be enough to fix long-term issues. Mr Javid said there will be an extra £13.8bn in public spending for 2020-21, including £1.5bn for local councils’ social care obligations and £54m to help tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. Genevieve Edwards, director of external affairs at the MS Society, said: “The new money for social care is a stop-gap measure that will just paper over the cracks." Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: “We welcome [the new funding] . . . but there is a danger this becomes a plan to solve homelessness without any new homes. If the government is to tackle the housing emergency it is going to need to be more ambitious.” Meanwhile, Sir John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), highlighted an increase in funding for the Charity Commission from £24.9m to £27.3m, and noted that "Strong and effective governance is essential to ensure the charity sector remains both robust and accountable." He nevertheless warned that “the uncertainty of Brexit continues to loom and charities rightly worry about the impact on their ability to attract vital donations so that they can continue to deliver essential services." Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of Charity Finance Group, said: "Whilst additional spending is to be welcomed, particularly in respect of areas like social care, in the context of many years of squeezed funding there is a lot of ground to be made up." Civil Society Small UK development charities to receive major aid boost Small UK-based development charities delivering international development projects can now apply for a grant through the latest round of DFID’s Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF). The fund is open to charities that have an income of less than £250,000. They can access grants of up to £50,000 to help respond to global challenges such as improving girls’ education, tackling climate change, and promoting access to healthcare in the developing world. International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said: "Every day, small British charities are working to save lives. Their commitment and passion is helping to reduce poverty around the world and deliver on wide-ranging priorities including education and health. We want to make it easier for them to access UK aid which will make a huge difference in their ability to deliver on the frontline." GOV.UK UKFundraising GOVERNANCE 'New independent agency needed to drive up standards' The chief executive of charity think tank New Philanthropy Capital says a new sector-wide independent agency is needed to drive standards "beyond rallying cries for better behaviours. "In a paper arguing that civil society needs to take responsibility for its own improvement, Dan Corry writes: "There is a strong case for the establishment of a new, independent (but sector-led) body that will support improvement and share best practice," adding that such a civil society improvement agency "would share and promote best practice to help improve the effectiveness of the sector" by analysing data to identify issues and improving public trust. The promotion of diversity within the charity sector is another key aim of the agency, Mr Corry said. "In an ideal world, we would want a social sector that is effective, efficient, diverse, working in the places and for the causes that most need it, learning from each other, collaborating where it makes sense (both within the sector and across other sectors), and constantly striving to be better and do better." Charity Digital News notes that the proposed new agency would also provide a "gateway" for charities to access expertise, data, research and training on issues including "understanding how critical agendas, like digital and diversity, can be successfully embraced." Civil Society Charity Digital News Inquiry is launched into seven linked charities A statutory inquiry has been launched by the Charity Commission into seven linked charities amid issues indicating a possible misapplication of charitable funds and potential personal benefit. The charities under investigation are: IPAD, Friends of African Organisations, British Africa Connexions, Kono District Development Association UK, Hope Direct, Social Action and Poverty Alleviation, and Action for Community Transformation. Civil Society RISK Email scam warning The Charity Commission has warned donors to be aware of bogus emails purporting to be from charities. The regulator says charities are increasingly becoming “an attractive target to criminals.” A statement from the Charity Commission says: “As regulator, we want everyone to make important checks before they give, so that they feel empowered and more confident at spotting and avoiding scams. Charity scams are small in number compared to how much is given safely, but the charity sector generates an annual income of over £76 billion making it an attractive target for criminals." A campaign using #SaferGiving on social media and the tagline “Ensure Your Donation Always Reaches The Right People” is being promoted by the regulator. Charity Digital News FUNDRAISING People gift more to small charities following scandals Since a string of scandals at the top of international charities, people have been giving more of their money to smaller organisations, new figures show. Some 10,428 charities were named in wills in 2018, with people "beginning to question more who they are giving their money to," according to Rob Cope, a director of Remember a Charity. He added that since 2012, if a person leaves 10% of their estate to a charity, inheritance tax is 36% rather than 40%. "It costs less to give more," said Mr Cope. The Daily Telegraph CAMPAIGNS Private firms pushing out charity clothing bins Charities warn that their on-street clothing bins are being removed as bins operated by private companies are able to offer higher payments to local authorities. The British Heart Foundation said it had lost 109 of its clothes bins from 37 local council areas over the last five years, while clothing recycling charity Traid said 40 of its bins had been removed over the last decade to make way for bins operated by private companies. The Telegraph found that of 148 councils to respond to a Freedom of Information request, private firms run all the clothing banks at 41% of them, while only 20% exclusively allow charities to run clothing banks. A survey commissioned by Traid recently found that two-thirds of people have no idea private companies were involved in clothing banks, and the same proportion said they would stop donating or donate less frequently if their local recycling bank was run by a private company. David Renard from the Local Government Association said councils “strive to find a balance between supporting charities and securing contracts that offer the best value to taxpayers.” The Daily Telegraph ASA bans 'misleading' Peta advert An advert by the charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for being misleading. Ten people submitted complaints to the ASA after seeing the advert, displayed on the sides of buses from February this year, which urged people to stop wearing wool products because "wool is just as cruel as fur." The ruling stated that because sheep needed to be shorn for health reasons wool could not be compared to fur in terms of cruelty. According to the ruling, Peta argued that the same abuses and suffering happened in the wool trade as in the fur trade, but the public were less informed about it. A spokeswoman for Peta said the charity would continue to urge "decent people" to avoid wool and would be running a modified version of the advert, which instead said "wool = cruelty to sheep." Third Sector Hyenas highlight online bullying threat Barnardo’s is using computer-generated images of hyenas in a film depicting the mental health problems faced by bullied children. The children's charity's Believe in Me video has been released as a television advert and is also available on YouTube. New research from Barnardo's suggests four out of five children know a victim of bullying. Barnardo’s CEO Javed Khan said: "As our new TV ad demonstrates, with the right support from a trusted adult, children can recover from difficult experiences and work towards a positive future.” Charity Digital News OTHER Labour chairman backs plan to abolish private schools Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery has endorsed a campaign to abolish all private schools, declaring that fee-paying schools are "incompatible" with the party’s pledge to promote "social justice" in the education system. Mr Lavery described private schools as the "origin" of "injustices" in society and says he is "proud" to be supporting plans to "remove these pillars of elitism from our society." The plan, which is being pushed by Labour Against Private Schools, a new campaign group, includes withdrawing the charitable status, and related tax breaks, from private institutions and redistributing "endowments, investments and properties" to schools across the country. However, the Independent Schools Council has warned that the plans would cost some local authorities tens of millions of pounds per year. The Sunday Telegraph ​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>​​


Charity Times - 03/09/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING 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." UKFundraising AUDIT 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 STRATEGY £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 REGULATION 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.” Civil Society WORKFORCE 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." Civil Society 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.” Civil Society 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. The Times COMMUNICATION 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 RISK 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 CAMPAIGNS 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.” The Guardian INTERNATIONAL 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 Back to Charity Times archive >>​​


Charity Times - 27/08/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING Charity text donations rise to almost £50m The amount of money donated to charity by text grew from £37.5m to £49.6m last year, according to the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA). The 32% jump was helped by two major charity telethons: Children in Need and Red Nose Day. The PSA estimates that over 25% of the donations to major charity telethons last year were made by text. Its annual review suggests up to 80% of the spend on charity donations overall comes from telethons, while 64% of consumer survey respondents that made a charity donation in the past 12 months reported they had done so to support a telethon. Joanne Prowse, chief executive of the PSA, said: “This news demonstrates that donating by text is an increasingly attractive option for UK donors, with considerable potential for the charity sector as a whole. We’re keen to continue to support the charity sector through effective regulation, which enhances consumer confidence. ”< /span> Fundraising Civil Society Record grant-making year for CAF The Charities Aid Foundation distributed £646m to the sector in 2018/19, an increase of more than 25% on the year before. Donations made to CAF increased by just 2% on the previous year to £620m. But Sir John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: “The scale and diversity of the giving that we have seen from people and companies over the past year has been truly remarkable. Given the uncertain times, the willingness to give is ever more striking and is a true vote of confidence in the power of charity to bring people together." Sir John added: “We are also very happy to see some of our innovative ways to help charities proving so popular with CAF Donate, our award winning CAF Investment Account and our services aimed at helping our charity partners build their own resilience in a challenging environment.” Civil Society PC Andrew Harper fundraiser exceeds target by 5000% A charity fundraiser set up by PC Andrew Harper, the police officer who was killed whilst on duty in Berkshire earlier this month, has exceeded its fundraising target by more than 5000%. The 28-year-old set up the page with the intention of raising £500 for Children with Cancer UK, but more than £25,000 worth of donations have been collected on the page and the total continues to rise. Mark Brider, the Children with Cancer UK's acting chief executive, said the organisation has been "humbled by the amount of money" that has been raised in the officer's name. ITV News Extra £25m pledged for hospices The government has promised an extra £25m in funding for hospices and palliative care services in a move designed to help both continue and improve the care they provide and relieve workforce pressures as well as introducing new services such as out-of-hours support, respite care and specialist community teams. The move follows NHS England’s June announcement of its plans to increase the children’s hospice grant to £25m by 2023/24, from £12m in 2019/20. Fundraising WORKFORCE Charity staff highly qualified, but not diverse enough A report from NCVO reveals that over half of the voluntary sector workforce is educated to degree level, and more than 70% of voluntary organisations put critical or significant value on applicants having relevant work experience. However, NCVO’s Planning for tomorrow's workforce report suggests charities could be excluding candidates from backgrounds where people face barriers to higher education or are less able to gain experience through volunteering and unpaid internships. Only 9% of staff in the charity sector, compared to 12% in both the public and private sectors, are from BAME backgrounds and the report also found charities were less likely than other employers to hire staff into their first job after leaving education. Charity Times Civil Society DIGITAL Charities and 'mixed reality' Charity Digital News looks at how charities can harness the immersive world of ‘mixed reality.’ Mixed reality (MR) blending aspects of the physical world with the digital by combining elements of virtual reality and augmented reality. MR programming allows digital objects to interact with physical objects and individuals to interact with digital objects as if they are physical. The technology offers new opportunities for service delivery and education. Charity Digital CEO Jonathan Chevallier says of the headset-enabled technology: “I can see it becoming more mainstream. It can do impressive things like scroll a section of text as you read it (automatically), respond to voice commands and enable you to push a button you can see on the headset display. I can foresee applications for the disabled, those with learning disabilities and many other areas.” Charity Digital News RISK Continuing to run Windows 7 brings security risk Charities are being warned that in six months’ time Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 for good, so those running it will no longer be security or GDPR compliant. Organisations which hold or process personal data are required under GDPR to have appropriate security measures in place, with large fines for those in breach. Charities are advised to update to Windows 10. Some will be eligible for a discounted version. Charity Digital News CAMPAIGNS Charities don't like calorie count plans Calorie counts on menus could have a negative effect on people who have bulimia and anorexia, say eating disorder charities. Food Standards Scotland (FSS) hopes mandatory calorie counts for items on restaurant and café menus will make diners consider their choices, but Andrew Radford, chief executive of eating disorder support charity Beat, says: “Requiring calorie counts on menus risks exacerbating eating disorders and so causing great distress for people suffering from these severe mental illnesses." Heather Peace, head of public health nutrition at Food Standards Scotland, responded: “Food Standards Scotland has already identified the issue of eating disorders in relation to calorie labelling . . . This will be considered fully as part of our planned impact assessments, which will involve stakeholder groups to ensure a wide range of views are taken into account, and any further evidence reviewed.” Third Force News New accident claim helpline launched by Age Scotland In partnership with Solicitors for Older People Scotland (SOPS), Age Scotland has launched a new, free accident claim helpline which seeks to give elderly people in Scotland a fairer service when it comes to making a personal injury claim. The service will ensure claimants keep 100% of any compensation they receive. Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s chief executive, said: “Before looking into this proposition, I had no idea just how much money people were paying out to their representatives following a no-win, no-fee case, which could be anything from 20-30% of what a court has decided they are entitled to. Even more staggering was that the industry is awash with unregulated and unqualified practitioners, who are not solicitors.” Now, all of the solicitors involved are specialists and regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. Third Force News Derby scraps yellow cabs Derby City Council has come in for criticism from disability charities after changing its policy, introduced in 2001, to have taxis in the city painted yellow to make them more identifiable, particularly to partially-sighted customers. The new design will see taxis painted black with a diagonal yellow stripe on the side, to reduce the costs of painting and maintenance for drivers. Amo Raju, CEO of Disability Direct, said the yellow cabs were a factor in Derby being “recognised as one of the most accessible cities in Europe for disabled people” in recent years. The Daily Telegraph OTHER Celebrity charity donations revealed Third Force News lists the most substantive charitable donations from the most followed celebrities on Instagram, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Lionel Messi. Some of the data has been obtained from a recently-published report detailing celebrities' net-worth, and notable charity donations. Third Force News Taking a bite out of poor workplace dental health Staff are being urged to bring cheese and nuts to work on their birthday instead of cake to combat tooth decay. The Oral Health Foundation charity says bosses should discourage birthday cakes, snacking at desks, “treat tables” and vending machines as they are the biggest causes of poor dental health and obesity. The foundation's Dr Nigel Carter added: "It is important to encourage healthy eating and to develop a more tooth-friendly culture in the workplace.” The Sun ​Back to Charity Times archive >>​​