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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

  • Project Accountant - ACA/Chartered (...

    £250.00 - £300.00 per day

    A well-known children's charity are seeking a fully qualified chartered (or evq) accountant to help with acquisitions and special projects Call for more information. You will be fully qualified The Pro-Recru...

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  • Head of Member Support/Membership Man...

    £250 - £300 per day

    Interim Head of Member Support - Essex A much loved, national membership organisation in Essex are seeking a Head of Member Support on an interim basis for 3 - 6 months. Do you have a demonstrable record of ...

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  • Operations Manager

    £18 - £53700 per annum

    Operations Manager - £45000 - £52000 (Inclusive of LW) A world renowned business school based in the a state-of the-art facility in one of London's most prestigious buildings are seeking an operations Manage...

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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...


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Companies Claire has worked with

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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.

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claire's articles

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What is the Potential Impact of Brexit on the Charitable and Third Sector?

Posted by Claire Stradling

With time running out, there are still so many unanswered questions: • Will article 50 be extended? • Or will we leave Europe on March 29th • Will we get a deal? Will it be hard or soft? • Will there be a general election or a new referendum? • What does it all mean? One thing for sure, is that 2019 will be unlike anything we have ever seen before and with only weeks to go, no-one seemingly knows what is going to happen. As well as the impact of whatever road we end up going down. The talk is the media is generally about house prices, the economy, inflation, will organisations leave the UK, trade deals etc. with little agreement. “Leavers” are optimistic that Britain will be stronger and grow and “Remainers” (like me!) are certain that the next steps will only result in doom and gloom. So, with so much uncertainty, what can all this mean for the charity and third sector? As we know the truth is no-one knows. And all this for a sector that already must contend with uncertainty, tight controls on resources and finances, very limited funding opportunities and very tight budgets. And what about the service users and causes that are reliant on them? I know I am being asked a lot by senior Leaders within the sector about what other charities are saying and doing about BREXIT. We have also been asked to recruit for a brand-new role such as “Brexit FP & A Analyst” and “BREXIT Advisor” for our charity and NFP Clients. Some international charities have said they are opening offices in Europe specifically because of BREXIT especially those who receive EU funding. Charity Finance Group (CFGT) claim a Brexit, which would see the UK leave the single market and customs union, poses less risk for charities that other options because it gives the government the flexibility to reform tax rules that have been holding back the sector. Others do not agree or question if the government will act quickly enough with so much else to do or do enough to make any real difference. ​ Redbrick Research spoke to experts on the topic including from CFG, NCVO, Latitude Law and Taylor Vincent who spoke about what they felt the “Big Issues” are. The big issues: 1. Workforce Changes in immigration policies may affect both the workforce and their volunteers for charities. Between June 2016 and June 2017, while the charity sector workforce grew, the member or European staff fell by 20%. We do not know what caused this and if any uncertainty about status to work in UK played any part in this, but it will surely be likely that BREXIT may make things more challenging for those with European employees? 2. Economic uncertainty Will the pound lose its value overseas? Will charities be able to buy less overseas and therefore have to offer less for the same budget to its benefices? How will economic uncertainty affect giving? Surely it will if we do fall on tougher times? If leisure time decreases because people are working more, will that affect the supply of volunteers many charities are so reliant on? 3. Funding As mentioned above the biggest conversation I am having now is about EU funding, donors and grant providers. Many within the charity sector receive funding directly from EU institutions. Without a deal to continue this or replace it from national funds, charities will have a shortfall and may need to reduce services. There are various estimates for the financial impact – well over £300 million per year according to NCVO. 4. Partnerships How will BREXIT affect Partnerships charities have built with similar EU organisations? The international aid sector is a good example, and one where UK charities are recognised experts. There is now doubt over whether and how these relationships continue, as the UK moves away from the EU, legally and perhaps, culturally. 5. New Rules As legalisation and rules change, will this allow for the opportunity to develop new rules to help charities? There are some areas where Brexit that, if managed well, could support the sector. For example, changes to the state aid, procurement rules, and VAT legislation could improve the environment for charities,” says Bradshaw. However, she concludes “that there is a high risk that the government will not use Brexit to support the work of the charity sector based on current policy statements. This means that charities will be left with all of the costs of Brexit and with none of the opportunities that could be created through the Brexit process.” Caron Bradshaw, CEO, CFG. The biggest impact may be the destabilising effect of uncertainty says Sir John Low, from the Charities Aid Foundation. And uncertainty creates worry and nerves. Which is where we all are right now! And with May losing today a vote designed to reaffirm her decision to go back to Brussels and reach a new agreement. It’s not legally binding but Sky News claims it will put her in an even more difficult position during negotiations. We do not know what the effects may be – positive or negative and there will probably be both to some degree. One thing for sure is this is going to be a year like no other in so many ways. To find out what our clients and candidates are saying to us or to discuss the trends in recruitment within the Charity sector, call Claire Stradling who heads up our Charities and Not for Profit team. Her team recruit in the following areas – Executive, Finance, HR and Marketing.

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Charity Times - 16/02/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNANCE Reform of accounting rules urged Charity representative bodies are urging reforms to the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) in their responses to a consultation on how to reform the process. NCVO said it could “see good arguments” that the SORP committee’s membership “would benefit from a wider range of stakeholders” and the Directory of Social Change (DSC) also said the committee should incorporate “diverse stakeholders beyond the accounting profession.” The Association for Charitable Foundations observed: “We recommend a better balance on the advisory board between those who prepare accounts and those who read them, in particular there should be greater representation of charitable foundations.” But the Charity Finance Group has said it believed planned reform could create an administrative burden for charities, and noted that an extension of the remit o f SORP t o cover a much wider range of metrics and measurements "would distort its primary purpose" and “increase costs in meeting these additional requirements." Civil Society Opinion: care needed in charity law revisions Writing in The Scotsman, Dentons partner Alexis Graham argues that the sweeping changes to charity law currently being consulted on by the Scottish Government need to take into account their potential effect on trustees. The plan to put further emphasis on increasing transparency, accountability and trust is in response to recent scandals both in the UK and overseas. But this also means more paperwork for charities and unwelcome exposure for some trustees. Under the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator’s proposals, it will get explicit power to publish annual reports and accounts of all charities in full – not just those with an income of at least £25,000, as is currently the case. The plans will also include a new register of trustees, available in a reduced version for public use. However, concerns have been raised about the disclosure of trustees’ names, which potentially discourages people from entering and supporting the sector at a time when many charities in need of good board level representation. The Scotsman Charity placed ‘undue pressure on donors’ A probe into the International Liberty Association has concluded that it placed “undue pressure” on donors to give as much as £11,000. The Fundraising Regulator said the charity was identified “because of the seriousness of the concerns." From April, the regulator will routinely name charities once it has finished its investigations. Fundraising Regulator CEO Gerald Oppenheim said: “The fundraising practices of ILA clearly contravene the Code of Fundraising Practice and represents a risk to donors as well as the organisation itself. We were particularly concerned about the methods used by fundraisers and lack of oversight from trustees." ILA aims to promote respect for human rights in the Middle East. Civil Society Housing charity gets official warning An official warning has been handed down by the regulator to a trustee of a Birmingham-based social housing charity due to a breach of trust and legal duties. Expectations (UK) has been subject to a regulatory compliance case since August 2017 due to concerns about its governance and the viability of the charity. The Charity Commission said the warning comes after trustee Marc Blanchette failed to cooperate with it and didn’t comply with two formal ‘Action Plans’ previously issued. Tracy Howarth, Head of Regulatory Compliance at the Charity Commission said: “The warning should serve as a reminder to all charity trustees that their work is of high importance, and that they will be held to account for compliance with their legal duties and regulatory advice.” 24 Housing Third Sector GOV.UK Inquiry launched into education charity The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into the Albayan Education Foundation charity, which failed to file a serious incident report after receiving critical reports from education watchdog Ofsted. The charity had also been issued with statutory notices by the Department for Education, which the Commission said should have triggered the trustees to file a serious incident report. The Commission said previously that it had engaged with the charity and had issued trustees with an action plan. Civil Society Birmingham Mail Thousands miss deadline to file with regulator Around 6,700 charities have missed deadline to file their annual accounts or annual return with the Charity Commission. Last year, 7,198 charities missed the January 31st deadline. Civil Society FUNDRAISING Swiftaid will boost contactless Gift Aid donations Swiftaid , a service automating the collection of Gift Aid from contactless donations, has launched. Charities need to set up an account with Swiftaid and assign it as a Gift Aid nominee with HMRC so it can claim Gift Aid on their behalf. Professor Steve Schneider, Director of the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Surrey, who is helping to validate the technology, said: “It’s a great opportunity for the charity sector to take full advantage of this new technology in this fast-moving digital age, and we believe that the intuitive nature of Swiftaid will make electronic Gift Aid donations seamless for the user.” UKFundraising Planned donation feature for Instagram Facebook has said it would introduce a donation sticker in Instagram Stories later this year to enable users to support non-profits through the app. The Stories feature lets people post video or images for 24 hours before they disappear. UKFundraising Charity Times Third Force News Civil Society RETAIL Charity launches new ‘premium’ concept store Cancer Research UK is launching a boutique concept store in London’s fashionable Marylebone area. The outlet will feature stylish fashion and homeware products "in a relaxed and contemporary space." Julie Byard, director of trading at Cancer Research UK said: “Whether commercial or charity, retailers shouldn’t stand still . . . Our aim is to create a contemporary space that cohesively showcases our high-end products and appeals to aspirational, fashion-forward shoppers. We’re excited to unlock the joys of charity shopping for a new audience, whilst still appealing to our existing supporters." Charity Today Charity shop warning on no-deal Brexit The Charity Retail Association is warning of the consequences for charity shops of a no-deal Brexit. Concerns have been raised by members in the wake of a government proposal to replace the CE marking on products with a UK-only equivalent. The association wants business secretary Greg Clark to protect the sector by ensuring that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, any items in stock in charity shops on March 29th aren't required to change their CE labels to bespoke UK labels; and also by guaranteeing that secondhand goods can continue to be sold in perpetuity by charity shops, even if they only have a CE label. UKFundraising Third Sector Civil Society WORKFORCE Charities urged to act on bullying The Guardian’s Lynne Wallis looks at concerns over bullying in the third sector. Neil Thomas, an employment lawyer at Thomas Mansfield solicitors, says: “A lot of cases I have handled over the last few years for charity employees seem to have involved some sort of bullying.” Siobhan Endean of the union Unite says the current economic environment means charity workers are working longer hours, often in precarious situations, adding: “This, combined with a lack of training for managers and a lack of clear employment legislation around dignity at work, has led to the increase in bullying in the workplace.” Ms Wallis notes that the Charity Commission last year published revisions to its 2017 safeguarding strategy, which now gives specific guidance on protecting volunteers and staff, while a new code of ethics from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations encourages chariti es to review their practices concerning dignity at work and safe employment practices. The Guardian Charity is sickened by £10,000 loss A Suffolk charity that lost £10,000 to scammers is warning others in the sector to be vigilant when making online payments. The Bridge Project, which has been helping disadvantaged adults in the Sudbury area for more than 20 years, believed it had paid a supplier - but it transpired that the supplier's email had been hacked by a fraudster. Charity chief Jo Searle said she felt “physically sick” when she learned of the crime and thinks it “very unlikely” they will see the money again. East Anglian Daily Times CAMPAIGNS Call for sanctions on social media firms that breach duty of care laws The NSPCC has published its blueprint for a statutory duty of care on social media firms to protect children. The charity wants new "duty of care" laws to be enforced by a regulator with powers to fine firms millions of pounds and sanction criminal investigations if they fail to prevent children being harmed online. Meanwhile, the Children’s Commissioner has said social media firms should face fines or be shut down if they fail to tackle so-called 'influencers' who lure children into gambling. Anne Longfield called for legislation to rein in the platforms responsible. The Daily Telegraph Daily Mail INTERNATIONAL Dogs teach humans to be better bosses Leader Dogs for the Blind 's executive training program makes use of dogs to teach company managers how to improve teamwork skills, clarify communication, build trust, undertake strategic planning, and use creative problem solving to become better bosses. Key to the success of the US non-profit’s program is the challenge of overcoming fear and handing over trust in partnership with a leader dog. USA Today

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Charity Times - 29/01/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

VOLUNTEERING Charities must make volunteering more inclusive A new report says charities must consider the ‘structural barriers’ preventing people from volunteering, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The Time Well Spent report from YouGov on behalf of NCVO found that those from middle class backgrounds were almost 50% more likely to have volunteered in the last 12 months than those from working class backgrounds. “Those from lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to say they have never been involved in volunteering, and those who have are less likely to be in certain leadership or representative roles, like being a trustee,” the report said. NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington said: "Institutions – charities and the public sector – need to take a hard look at themselves and think about what barriers they may inadvertently be creating . . . In particular, we need to make sure it’s easy to start volunteering. Our res earch suggests young people have higher expectations of the process being simple and quick than older people." Charity Times Civil Society GOVERNANCE Regulator publishes annual report about its regulatory work A report published by the Charity Commission shows that it launched more than 2,000 regulatory compliance cases in 2017/18. According to the Dealing with wrongdoing and harm report, 2,269 regulatory compliance cases were opened in 2017/18, up from 1,164. Serious governance concerns accounted for 730 cases, and the regulator said that 552 related to new safeguarding cases, making safeguarding the third most frequent issue. The second highest issues was classed as "other" with 582 cases opened. Charity Commission CEO Helen Stephenson said: "This report tells of the Commission’s continued effectiveness in dealing with wrongdoing and harm in charities, including through the appropriate and confident use of the new powers we were granted," adding also that "we are working on becoming more preventative in our approach, developing the risk-based element to its work so that it can spot potential problems before they occur." Civil Society GOV.UK Regulator probes charity about lack of clarity The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into the GTC charity due to concerns over its administration. The charity’s objects are for the relief of poverty of people in the UK, mainly in the Aylesbury area of Buckinghamshire. The regulator has concerns about the charity’s governance and administration as there appears to be only one trustee which means that conflicts of interest cannot be adequately managed. In addition, the charity’s accounting and reporting submissions lack clarity and the Commission also has regulatory concerns about the charity’s activities and whether the charity is applying its resources in furtherance of its charitable purposes. Accountancy Daily GOV.UK Third Sector Regulator publishes findings of probe into Ripon Community Link The Charity Commission has published the findings of its investigation into Ripon Community Link. The report absolves the charity of financial mismanagement but makes a number of recommendations. The regulator acted following the charity's sudden withdrawal of services from 12 of its most severely disabled members and the laying-off of a dozen members of staff. Ripon Community link chair Kathryn Harrison said the board of trustees is committed to rebuilding local confidence in the charity. Harrogate Advertiser COMMUNICATION Charities 'must improve storytelling' Caroline Underwood, chief executive of fundraising consultancy, Philanthropy Company, told attendees at last week's Institute of Fundraising Major Donor Fundraising Conference that charities must change the way they share information to attract major donors. “We are all incredibly sophisticated in the way we get information . . . [but] As a sector we have been absolutely rubbish at getting out information into a relevant form,” she said. Ms Underwood recommended more use of social media platforms as a storytelling method and less reliance on graphs and other complex ways of packaging information. Civil Society New look and brand for Macmillan Macmillan Cancer Support has launched a new strategy, branding and logo. The new tagline "whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you" replaces the charity’s "life with cancer" campaign. Kate Barker, director of brand at Macmillan, said: "While the charity is well known and has a recognisable brand, we know that not enough people with cancer are aware of all the ways we can support them . . . Our focus throughout this work has been on increasing Macmillan’s relevance and ensuring that everyone who needs us can access our support. In turn we hope that more people will be inspired to offer support to Macmillan." Third Force News FUNDRAISING New site will make finding funding sources easier A new website has launched to help charities find fresh sources of funding. The new Funds Online website combines the data from the Directory of Social Change’s (DSC) collection of online funding search products and aims to help charities find over £8bn in funding from some 8,000 different funders. Charities only need to make a simple online search and use the new DSC dashboard to easily log and track applications. DSC chief executive Debra Allcock Tyler said: “With the new dashboard, you can track all the information you need and its incredibly easy to know what your journey has been through the funding landscape, which will save you lots of time in the future.” UKFundraising DIGITAL £2.4m charity tech fund is launched A £2.4 Tech for Good fund has launched to help charities develop their use of technology. Applications for the fund launched by Comic Relief and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) are set to open on February 11th and close on March 25th. Projects should address one of four core issues: Children Survive and Thrive, Global Mental Health Matters, Fighting for Gender Justice, or A Safe Place to Be. “We are looking to fund projects at any stage of development, with solid user-centred research, a clear problem to address, and a compelling digital solution to achieving this,” says a statement from Comic Relief and PHF. Charity Digital News Civil Society WORKFORCE Big swings in some fundraiser salary categories A new report shows fundraiser salaries increased just 1% overall in 2018 but also that there were big swings in some categories. The figures from Kage Partnership’s annual Fundraising Salary Survey represent advertised salaries for jobs based in London and the South East. Salary increases were seen in seven of the 14 categories, and events salaries across Officer and Manager levels saw the biggest increases, with an average rise of 8.5%. UKFundraising RISK Government urged to name organisations with poor cybersecurity A report from the Cyber Security Research Group and the Policy Institute at King’s College London has said that the government should name and shame organisations whose cybersecurity measures fail to protect consumers’ data. In light of the fact that four in ten businesses experienced a cybersecurity breach or attack in 2017-18, according to the government’s 2018 data breach survey, the public should be able to see what steps firms are taking to keep users safe online, the report says. It argues that naming organisations with poor cybersecurity will incentivise them to improve their defences and help combat cyber-crime. The researchers also recommend that businesses, charities and other organisations adopt measures included in the government’s Active Cyber Defence (ACD) programme developed by the National Cyber Security Centre. New Statesman Silicon City AM CAMPAIGNS Charities launch anti-bullying campaign Scotland's anti bullying service respectme, Show Racism the Red Card and Changing Faces are challenging the prejudices that lead to youngsters being treated unfairly. Their Celebrating Difference campaign will encourage youngsters to celebrate the things that make individuals unique, and challenge the prejudice that leads to bullying. Katie Ferguson, service director of respectme, said: “Celebrating Difference will highlight to young people the importance of respect and fairness for all . . . We all have similarities and differences – and we are each completely unique – that is something to be celebrated. We hope by the end of the campaign that we’ve helped contribute to a culture of celebration and understanding of this in Scotland’s schools and youth settings." Third Force News Campaign launches to crack down on social media exploitation of children The NSPCC is demanding that the government introduce a robust new law for social networks as soon as possible, with the latest data from the Office for National Statistics showing that 9,543 crimes relating to child sex offenders exploiting the web and social media were recorded in the last year. The charity's #WildWestWeb campaign urges the establishment of an independent regulator with the power to investigate and fine social networks, with Des Mannion, head of NSPCC Cymru/Wales, noting: “Sites must be required to create safe accounts for children and take proactive steps to detect grooming so this behaviour can be disrupted before it escalates.” South Wales Argus OTHER Insurer’s withdrawal threatens adventure playgrounds Adventure playgrounds across Britain are at risk of closure after the only insurer willing to back them, Zurich, said it was preparing to pull out. Charities warned that 70 playgrounds, many in deprived areas, are under threat. A similar number of council-run adventure playgrounds will be able to continue but they face the threat of spending cuts. Local authorities have been handing over their sites to the voluntary sector to operate or simply closing them. The Times

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Charity Times - 22/01/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNANCE NCVO launches ethical principles for charities NCVO has launched a benchmark of good practice to help charities become more inclusive, open and ethical in how they work and treat people. The Charity Ethical Principles guidance, formerly the Charity Code of Ethics, encourages governing bodies, staff and volunteers to actively consider the principles and how they can integrate them in their work. Dame Mary Marsh, who led on drafting the principles said: “These principles demonstrate how much we all want to live our values in everything we do and show the public that charities aim to be places where everyone meets the highest ethical standards." UKFundraising Charity Times RSPCA plans major governance changes RSPCA is planning big changes to its governance following a 2017 review that made over 40 recommendations. The charity is planning to half the size of its board, introduce term limits and set up a new committee to improve the relationship between the central organisation and its branches, as part of major changes to its governance. Chris Sherwood, current chief executive of RSPCA, said the proposed changes in fact go further than those in the 2017 review. “The organisation is going through the biggest changes to its governance since 1974,” he said. Members will vote on the proposals at this year’s annual general meeting in June. Civil Society Charity trustee accused of 'mismanagement and misconduct' The charity regulator has concluded a five-year investigation into The Cup Trust, a charity involved in a complex tax avoidance scheme worth £46m. The Charity Commission said it found “clear mismanagement and misconduct” on the part of sole corporate trustee Mountstar Ltd. Accountancy Daily STRATEGY Charity mergers are not ‘timely and strategic’ The Good Merger Index from Eastside Primetimers, a consultancy specialising in mergers, says that charity mergers “remain rare” and organisations aren't exploring merger in a “timely and strategic manner.” Less than one in every thousand of the 167,000 charities on the register was involved in a merger last year, according to the report. Richard Litchfield, chief executive of Eastside Primetimers, lamented charities’ inability to effectively explore the need for greater consolidation “despite continuing competition for constrained resources, a degree of duplication in services, and the duty of charity managers and trustees to consider the best means to meet their charitable objectives in this environment.” Civil Society Third Sector WORKFORCE Wellcome Trust could introduce four-day work week The Wellcome Trust is considering moving all of its 800 head office staff to a four-day week in a bid to boost productivity and improve work-life balance. A trial of the new working week at the London-based science research foundation could start as soon as this autumn, giving workers Fridays off with no reduction in pay. It is believed the Wellcome Trust would become the biggest organisation anywhere in the world to try a four-day week. Ed Whiting, the institution’s chief of staff, said the proposal is “one of a number of very early ideas that we are looking at that might be beneficial to welfare and productivity for everyone at Wellcome. It will be some months before we can consider a formal decision.” The Times Daily Mail The Daily Telegraph The Guardian Charities feature in LGBT inclusivity list Five charities feature in Stonewall’s list of the top 100 best LGBT employers in the UK. The LGBT charity praised Touchstone, Victim Support, St Mungo’s, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and Change Grow Live. Stonewall says LGBT-inclusive employers play a "crucial role in changing society". BBC News The Daily Telegraph The Guardian City AM Third Force News FUNDRAISING BT to close MyDonate fundraising platform BT is close its MyDonate online fundraising platform at the end of June as it focuses support in other areas. A BT spokesperson noted the evolution of fundraising technology in recent years and the appearance of alternative fundraising platforms, including several fee-free offers, to the UK. “In light of this, we have taken the tough decision to close MyDonate at the end of June 2019 and re-focus our outreach initiatives, which include helping people of all ages across the UK develop essential technology skills and supporting national education programmes such as Barefoot," the spokesperson said. Civil Society Third Sector UKFundraising Charities fail to fund watchdog Lord Harris of Haringey, the new head of the Fundraising Regulator, has criticised hundreds of charities for refusing to pay a levy to fund its work. Charities that spend more than £100,000 a year on fundraising are expected to make a voluntary annual contribution to the regulator's running costs. However, 246 charities out of 1,883 judged eligible had not paid by the end of last week. Lord Harris accused such charities of “arrogance” in thinking that moves to stamp out bad practices do not apply to them. The Times Switch off and donate to charity PR firm Frank has partnered with technology provider Hold to provide the Frank on Hold app. The app incentivises employees with a range of rewards to switch off from work by putting their mobile device down. The longer they hold off checking their device, the more points they are awarded - and a partnership with Unicef earns employees the chance to donate footballs, pencils, and books. UKFundraising More people want to donate through mobile devices A new study suggests a growing number of people would prefer to give to charity through mobile devices than traditional methods. The research from Pingit, a mobile app that allows payments using a mobile number, found that over a quarter (28%) of respondents would rather make donations via new technology. Third Force News SUPPORT More than 100 Scottish charities receive grants Bank of Scotland Foundation , an independent charity supporting people and their local communities across the country, has distributed £1,661,157 to 121 Scottish charities. The foundation’s Mental Health Fund, launched in May last year, meant more charities than ever received funding in 2018. Philip Grant, chair of the foundation’s Board of Trustees, said: “We are really excited to have recently launched our new website which we hope makes it easier for charities to apply to our grant programmes, and showcases some of the work being carried out across Scotland by charities we have funded." Third Force News CAMPAIGNS Charities criticise mental capacity changes In a letter to The Times, 13 charities and rights groups, including Mind, the National Autistic Society and the Alzheimer's Society, claim that vulnerable people are at risk of "exploitation and abuse" due to rushed government reforms within the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill. The charities warn that the reforms will embed a “worrying conflict of interest” at the heart of rulings on depriving people with dementia, learning disabilities and mental illness of their liberty. They added that the bill also creates a worrying conflict of interest for care home managers, giving them a greater role in the assessment process. Sam Grant, of Liberty, said: "This bill is in essence a cost-cutting exercise, which removes vital safeguards necessary to ensure people ... are not abused, mistreated or ignored. The government must fix the bill or put hundreds of thousands o f vulner able people at risk." The Times Number of children in care ‘spiralling’ More foster carers are urgently needed for spiralling numbers of children in the care system, Barnardo’s has warned. The number of children in care in England has jumped by 27% between 2008 and 2018, the charity said. In the same period Wales saw an increase of 38% and Northern Ireland a rise of 28%, while in Scotland the figure remained flat. Meanwhile, Ofsted figures show the number of carers in England fell by almost 1,000 between 2016 and 2017. Among the reasons for the rise are increasing child poverty, a lack of early intervention, and more awareness of abuse and neglect, Barnardo’s said. Charity Today The Mail on Sunday

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Charity Times - 08/01/2019

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNANCE Scotland considers charity legislation Ministers are consulting on new legislation covering charities in Scotland that would strike off those which repeatedly fail to publish annual accounts of their spending and activities. The proposed new charity law could require organisations on the Scottish Charity Register to publish annual reports and accounts so as to improve public trust in the sector. Other proposals include establishing an external register of charity trustees. A survey by the Scottish Charity Regulator OSCR found that 88% of people would trust charities more if they could see evidence of their achievements and the proportion of donations that went to good causes. The Times Daily Mail The Press and Journal Charity is investigated for a second time The regulator has launched a second statutory inquiry into The Mohiuddin Trust, a charity whose objectives include a Kashmir and Pakistan focused relief of poverty. The Charity Commission will weigh concerns over potential misconduct and mismanagement, including continuing problems with poor financial controls that were identified in an earlier probe. Separately, the regulator has opened its third investigation in five years into a church charity where a former bishop stole £186,000. Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic has failed to file its accounts on time for five consecutive years and is currently over 90 days late. It was previously part of a class inquiry into so-called "double defaulter" charities. Accountancy Daily Civil Society Regulator appoints interim manager to Jole Rider Friends The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to Jole Rider Friends after it suspended trustees amid continuing concerns about the charity’s governance. The regulator opened a statutory inquiry into the charity in September 2017 to address significant regulatory concerns including outstanding annual accounts and concerns about potentially unauthorised payments to trustees and inadequate stock control. The Commission has said: “Although the trustees have since submitted the outstanding accounts, the Commission continues to have serious regulatory concerns regarding the charity’s governance, in particular relating to management of conflicts of interest and risk to the charity’s property.” Civil Society Third Sector Charity Update FUNDRAISING eBay boosts donations to good causes Online auction site eBay raised £22.5m during 2018 for good causes, including campaigns to help homeless people, young entrepreneurs, and disadvantaged children. The figure is up 13% on 2017. "The growth in the eBay for Charity program in the UK demonstrates the benefits for both charities seeking to reach new audiences and diversify their traditional charity shop model by tapping in to our trusted marketplace model and for shoppers seeking the gifts and experiences that will give back,” said Murray Lambell, Head of Trading for eBay UK. Charity Digital News SUPPORT Three charities to share £400,000 in digital inclusion funding Three charity projects will share £400,000 in government funding to help boost the digital skills of the elderly, disabled people, and patients receiving end of life care. The government’s Digital Inclusion Fund is supporting the development of ‘smart homes’ for older people, an app to combat obesity, and video consultations in palliative care. Uttlesford Council for Voluntary Service, Down’s Syndrome Association, and Weldmar Hospicecare Trust are the respective beneficiaries. Margot James, Minister for Digital, said: “These innovative projects will not only help some of the hardest to reach people live healthier and happier lives but also boost our mission to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital businesses.” Charity Digital News PROCUREMENT Charities win few ‘suitable’ public sector contracts Analysis for Social Enterprise UK indicates that charities are only winning one in ten of public sector contracts that have been deemed suitable for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs). Charlie Wigglesworth, deputy chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said more needed to be done by government to support VCSEs. “At a time when the public is concerned about the involvement of businesses in public service markets following the collapse of Carillion, the government has an opportunity to ease these concerns through working with social enterprises," he said. Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Government confirms plans to teach CPR in schools #UKCharityWeek founder Lee Rayment has welcomed the government's confirmation of plans to add CPR to the school curriculum in England. Education secretary Damian Hinds said he wanted every child to have “the knowledge and skills they need to keep themselves safe and help others,” and that under the government’s plans, all schools will have to teach such life-saving skills from 2020. Mr Rayment, who is an Ambassador of the British Heart Foundation’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign, said: “I am so pleased this is to become part of the national school curriculum, it’s a very smart move by the government.” British Heart Foundation CEO Simon Gillespie said: “Introducing CPR lessons into health education in all state-funded secondary schools is a significant step that promises to improve the odds of survival for countless people who have a cardiac arrest in the future.” Charity Today Charity launches Moray service to meet foster care demand Children’s charity Aberlour is launching a recruitment drive from its Elgin base in order to keep pace with the demand for foster parents in Moray as part of a new dedicated service in the region beginning next year. The annual number of children requiring a foster carer has increased during the last three years, but the number of people registered with Moray Council to take them in has fallen. The Press and Journal RNIB offers braille names for social media followers RNIB's social media team will generate names in braille for the charity's social media followers. The campaign coincides with World Braille Day. People will be given the opportunity to donate when the charity sends them their name in braille. Civil Society DIGITAL Tech Trust's first digital tech conference for charities Tech Trust’s first charity tech conference takes place in London on February 13th. The Charity Digital Tech Conference will feature speakers from the charity, technology, and public sectors. Tech Trust CEO Jonathan Chevalier says: “Whether you are just starting your digital journey or interested in the more advanced interventions technology can enable, our conference programme with four streams is certain to excite.” Charity Digital News WORKFORCE Few staff happy with pay and benefits at regulator A civil service engagement survey suggests few Charity Commission employees are happy with their pay and benefits. The annual Civil Service People Survey 2018 found that just over a quarter (27%) of the 90% of Commission staff who completed the survey felt that their pay “adequately reflects” their performance. This share compared to a 31% median benchmark across the entire civil service. Nevertheless, workers reported a 65% positive response for overall 'employee engagement index,' putting the regulator in the top third of the civil service overall. Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: “I am delighted to see such positive results about our staff engagement – this year they are at the highest level in ten years." Civil Society

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Charity Times - 02/01/19

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNANCE Warning about deterioration in quality of accounts The Charity Commission is highlighting a deterioration in the quality of charity accounts and says not enough is being done by the sector to explain to the public how money is raised and spent or to demonstrate public benefit. The regulator reviewed a random sample of 105 accounts for the year ending December 2016 and found that 70% met its “basic benchmark of user requirements” - a fall from 74% the previous year. The Commission wants a “step-change” in attitudes to reporting. Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services at the Commission, said: “The public want and deserve to know how charities spend their money, so this deterioration in the quality of accounts is of serious concern . . . I would urge those charities that find reporting difficult to take advantage of the pro-forma reports and accounts available on our website." UKFundraising Civil Society PEOPLE 2019 New Year Honours Wellcome Trust director Professor Jeremy Farrar has been knighted in this year's New Year Honours. Other sector professionals recognised in the 2019 List include David Bragg, founder of Send a Cow, who received an OBE for services to charity; Helen Pankhurst, senior adviser at Care International, who was awarded a CBE for services to gender equality, and Mark Waddington, chief executive of Hope and Homes for Children, who was awarded a CBE for services global child protection. Lucy Findlay, the founding managing director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, received an MBE for services to social enterprise; Derek Harris, a mental health campaigner and member ofMind’s Retail Board, was awarded an OBE for his voluntary work; Sylvia Holder, founder of education charity The Venkatraman Memorial Trust, received a British Empire Medal for her charitable work. Civil Society FUNDRAISING Charitable Brits missing out on tax breaks Harry Brennan in the Telegraph says that while the UK is giving more to charity than ever before, those making donations are not making full use of tax breaks. He notes that while the value of declared donations has increased every year since 2011/12 – hitting almost £3bn in 2016/17 - the number of people who declare their donations via self-assessment tax returns has stalled. Rachel de Souza of RSM says tax is often not the first thing people think of when they donate money, adding that there is widespread ignorance of the reliefs available. The Daily Telegraph Growing demand for mobile giving options More than a quarter (28%) of consumers prefer giving to charity via their mobile phone, according to research from mobile payment app Pingit. A similar share (27%) said they would donate more if they could do so via their mobile device or payment card. "Whether they’re used to give contactlessly or to create a fundraising page, the little devices in our pockets could generate a huge uplift for charities across the UK,” said Pingit managing director Darren Foulds. Charity Digital News Slowing plastic bag sales hit charities The amount Scottish retailers are passing on to the charity sector has fallen after sales of single use plastic bags dropped by £3.8m in 2018. According to a report from the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), the total amount raised for charity by Scottish retailers fell to £14.7m in 2018 from £15.9m the previous year. Leigh Sparks, professor of retail studies at Stirling University said: “The introduction of the charge had a massive impact on plastic bags. It is not just a one-off impact, it’s changing the behaviour of consumers over time. I would expect it to reduce further in future." Third Force News LEGAL Whistleblowing in the third sector Employment law solicitor Jamie Meechan, a member of the charity and third sector group at MacRoberts, examines the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator’s (OSCR) latest report on whistleblowing. The charity regulator received seven whistleblowing disclosures in 2017-2018, four of which led to inquiries using its powers in terms of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005; while such reports help it to underpin public trust and confidence in the charity sector, Mr Meechan notes that care must be taken, due to legal liabilities and other possible claims that might arise. “Reputation can be everything in the charity and third sector and so properly managing any such disclosures is crucial”, he concludes. Third Force News Charity registration backlog hits PTAs Delays in charity registrations have led to almost 100 Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) in Northern Ireland being unable to apply for certain funding. PTAs must register under the Charities Act (NI) 2008 and companies and councils often require a charity number to donate or match fundraising, but some PTAs have been waiting years to be complete the process. Education charity Parentkind said the backlog in registrations was having a detrimental effect on PTAs. BBC News TECHNOLOGY Charity looks to AI for online support service Relationship charity Relate has said that it hopes to experiment with AI chatbots as part of its live online service to help meet demand. Aidan Jones from Relate said that the online service was proving popular with users due to its anonymity, with people more ready to explain their issues, and that “non-human interaction” could be the next step, with AI able to “learn as it interacts with clients.” The Sun SUPPORT Charity boost for alcoholics’ children A funding boost has been awarded to counsellors who read bedtime stories to children whose parents are too drunk to tuck them in at night and help more youngsters affected by alcoholism. Matt Hancock has announced that the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) will be receive a share of £500,000 to help expand the charity's helpline, adding that "no child in this difficult position is left with nowhere to turn". The Sunday Times FTCT handouts soar in 2018 The Fashion and Textile Children’s Trust, a charity once chaired by Charles Dickens, has seen claims for emergency grants from struggling retail workers soar in 2018. The figures come after a year of store closures and job losses in the sector. A total of £198,184 was awarded to 547 shop workers’ children in 2018, compared with £112,395 given to 312 in 2017. The group’s director, Anna Pangbourne, said: “This suggests there are a growing number of parents who genuinely can’t afford to buy essentials.” The Daily Telegraph CAMPAIGNS Siblings of ill children being ignored by government A report from Rainbow Trust children’s charity warns that siblings of seriously ill children risk a long-term negative impact on their mental health and education unless there is more funding to support them. Sophie Dodgeon, policy and campaigns manager at the charity, and author of See us, Hear us, Notice us: The case for supporting siblings of seriously ill children, says: “Siblings of seriously ill children tell us that feelings of anxiety, isolation, jealousy and guilt are common. Some families believe their child would have needed professional mental health support without our help." Charity Today Vulnerable teens learn about money A new initiative in London has begun with the aim of teaching vulnerable teenagers’ financial skills. The Money House project, which is run by financial education charityMyBnk and the Money Advice Service, aims to build financial literacy among 16 to 25-year-olds, teaching them the financial basics of budgeting, finance and debt. Course leader Nick Smith-Patel says many at-risk teenagers struggle in large classes at school and are not getting the help they need. “Our maximum group is 10 with a teacher and assistant. We don't talk to them like children, because they aren't children,” he says. The Observer Charity aims to protect libraries The charity Libraries Connected is heading a wide-ranging review designed to safeguard the future of public libraries by exploring a range of different options for how they could be funded and managed. The initial study is being backed by the Carnegie UK Trust and Cilip, the UK's library and information association. Libraries in England have had their funding slashed for a fifth year in a row, with the overall amount spent on buildings dropping by almost £300m since 2010 to £720m. The total remaining is now 3,745, down from 4,482 in 2010. Volunteers have also kept open over 550 others. Daily Express Edinburgh site to pioneer disability co-housing Tiphereth , an independent charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and complex needs, is set to present City of Edinburgh Council with proposals to build Scotland’s first co-housing community for people with disabilities. If approved, the cohousing terrace would see those living in the homes work to help other residents as volunteers as part of their tenancy agreement. Around 4,500 of the council’s 20,000 new affordable homes that are set to be built will be integrated with health and social care services to be used by older people and those with “complex physical and health needs.” Edinburgh Evening News INTERNATIONAL President’s tax bill could mean billions less for charities Non-profit groups are set learn how much of a dent President Donald Trump's 2017 tax bill will put in their donations. Studies predict charities nationally will lose out on $13bn to $20bn, between 3% and 5%. Estimates by Giving USA show charitable giving in the US totalled about $410bn in 2017. After the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the standard deduction that people may take on their federal tax returns and limited to $10,000 the amount of state income, sales and property taxes that could be deducted, the Tax Policy Center predicts around 16m returns will itemise deductions for charitable gifts, compared with 37m in 2016. USA Today Fortune OTHER Housebuilder boss yet to start bonus charity The Guardian reports that Jeff Fairburn, former chief executive of housebuilder Persimmon, has yet to set up a charity despite pledging to do so ten months ago as he sought to calm debate over his £75m bonus. Mr Fairburn, who left Persimmon last month as the firm said talk of the payout had become a “distraction”, said he would donate a "substantial proportion" of his bonus to a charity. A Charity Commissionspokeswoman said there is no record of a registered charity bearing Mr Fairburn's name, adding: “It is not possible to confirm whether or not funds have been donated via another charity." The Guardian

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Charity Times - 20/11/18

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING Implementation period urged for fundraising code proposals Charity representative bodies including NCVO, the Directory of Social Change, and the Institute of Fundraising have all agreed in principle with the proposed changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice from the Fundraising Regulator but say they want more time to adjust. The Fundraising Regulator announced its proposed changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice in September, with the aim of making the code easier to use and understand, as well as more easily accessible for the public. A spokeswoman for the regulator said: “It is important that the Code of Fundraising Practice is a tool that fundraisers and organisations can use confidently to create a positive donor experience and the feedback." Civil Society Fundraising Regulator appoints new chair The Labour peer Toby Harris, Lord Harris of Haringey, has been appointed as the next chair of the Fundraising Regulator. He begins his role on January1st 2019 when current chair Lord Grade’s tenure comes to an end. Lord Harris said: “I am excited to have been appointed Chair of the Fundraising Regulator. I very much admire the vital work the team at the regulator have tirelessly been carrying out over the past few years and am looking forward to supporting the Board and its staff in ensuring that fundraising is carried out transparently and ethically.” UKFundraising Civil Society Third Sector Computer power being turned into charitable donations Charity Digital News examines how Give Bytes, a crowdfunding platform, is enabling people to donate to charities by turning unused power from their computers into cryptocurrency. The platform uses blockchain technology to ‘cryptomine’ the computers of those wanting to donate. Give Bytes said that while each donation is likely to be small, a considerable amount of money can be raised through the method. Give Bytes also reveals that 77% of people are keen to give money to charities, but a third are unable to donate regularly due to financial reasons. Charity Digital News WORKFORCE Call for improved sector equality, diversity and inclusivity A movement urging fundraisers and their allies to work together to make fundraising a more equal, diverse and inclusive profession has been launched by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF). The Change Collective is inspired by conversations the IoF has held over the last nine months that have underscored the representation of BAME, LGBT+ and disabled people and men throughout the profession, with unequal progression for women fundraisers. A new ‘Manifesto for Change’ developed by an expert advisory panel on equality, diversity and inclusion chaired by Sufina Ahmad, and adopted by the IoF Board of Trustees, details the guiding objectives and activities of the movement. Fundraising.co.uk RISK Charities report 137 data breaches to ICO The latest figures revealed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) show that charities reported 137 data security incidents to the regulator in the second quarter of 2018-19. The majority of charity incidents (88) involved unlawful disclosure of data with the majority of other incidents (50) relating to various security issues. A total of 4,056 data security incidents were reported to the ICO for the second quarter across all sectors. Charities accounted for just 3.3% of all reported data breaches. The ICO also revealed that the charity sector was responsible for reporting 36 separate cyber incidents in the second quarter of 2018/19. Civil Society STRATEGY Government announces £1m digital skills fund for charities The Government has announced £1m in funding to support programmes helping charities improve their digital skills. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, announcing the fund, said the Government wants “charitable organisations to thrive in the digital age and are committed to helping them get the most out of technology, which can act as an enormous force for good.” The programme, he said, will give charity leaders “more opportunities to enhance skills and boost employee confidence while creating a greater and more positive impact on people and their communities.” The fund supports the Government’s recently published Civil Society Strategy, which outlined plans to help charities build their digital capabilities to benefit service-users and wider society. Gov.uk Inquiry urges radical reform A two-year study has concluded that civil society organisations risk irrelevance unless they undertake radical reform to ensure they are fit for future challenges. A report fromCivil Society Futures, an independent inquiry led by Julia Unwin, details major changes which need to happen in four areas. The Story of Our Times: shifting power, bridging divides, transforming society report recommends that power needs to be shifted to involve everyone in decision-making; organisations must become more accountable to their communities; civil society must improve connections within and between communities; and organisations need to build trust by making sure ensure they act in accord with their values. Civil Society Third Sector GOVERNANCE Charities investigated over Gift Aid claims The Charity Commission is investigating two connected charities over “financial irregularities” and concerns about Gift Aid schemes. The regulator said it had opened a class statutory inquiry into Islamic charities Idaara Maarif-E-Islam and The Voice of Truth in October last year. The inquiry is seeking to establish whether the close relationship has been in the best interest of the charities and if any resulting conflicts of interest have been adequately managed by the trustees. Civil Society Gov.uk Charity Commission steps in over architect’s will The Charity Commission has intervened in a dispute over the £67m estate of architect Dame Zaha Hadid after Patrik Schumacher, principal at the architect's practice she founded, applied to the High Court in London to remove his co-executors. The charity regulator said it will be “engaging with the relevant parties to assess their handling of this matter and to ensure that charitable funds are not at risk." The Times CAMPAIGNS Charity warns of workplace discrimination for cancer patients A survey of 1,500 British cancer patients has revealed a fifth face discrimination when they return to work after treatment. Macmillan Cancer Support said many bosses had misconceptions about employees with a cancer diagnosis and the charity added that in the last two years there had been a 74% increase in the number of calls to its helpline from cancer patients facing issues at work. The charity warned employers that they could be breaking the law if they did not make reasonable adjustments for workers with cancer. Liz Egan, of Macmillan's Working Through Cancer initiative, said: "We know how important it is to many people to work during cancer treatment, or return to employment afterwards, and this is entirely possible with the right support.” The Guardian Stem professionals sought for Teach First pilot The charity Teach First, which recruits new graduates into deprived secondary schools, has created a new scheme which aims to lure bankers, engineers and computer programmers in their 30s and 40s, “disenchanted” with their jobs, to switch careers into teaching. Teach First struggles to persuade new recruits to leave big cities for impoverished coastal areas and former manufacturing towns, and has specifically formulated the new Time to Teach programme for this older group, who will be encouraged to move out of cities. Teach First CEO Russell Hobby said he believes “career switchers are more likely to want to settle outside the cities”. About 30 career-switchers with Stem degrees will be recruited for the pilot, which starts next spring. It is hoped that this will rise to 500 in the next few years. The Times The Times Charity calls for more blood pressure checks The British Heart Foundation has suggested that commuters should have their blood pressure tested at convenient places such as supermarkets and football grounds across the country. It comes as new research suggests improved diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure could prevent 11,500 heart attacks, strokes and other cases of heart and circulatory disease every year. The Daily Telegraph The Guardian Daily Express Charity calls for waiting targets for mental health patients Rethink Mental Illness has warned that people with severe mental health problems are being forced to wait longer for NHS help than those with mild depression. The charity urged officials to introduce NHS waiting targets for mental health problems, including a two-week maximum wait for those suffering from psychosis. Experts warned that those suffering devastating mental health problems were being left to reach crisis point before they got any help. The Sunday Telegraph OTHER Unlikely donations revealed The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has shared some of the strangest items donated to charities around the UK this year, with a prosthetic leg, a sheep’s head and a live ferret being notable examples. With Giving Tuesday (November 27th) approaching, the CAF’s director of communications, Ben Russell, said: “As unusual as these donations are, they show the many ways people can support the charities they care about.” “Giving Tuesday is the ideal moment to do something for a good cause. After the sales of Black Friday this is an ideal chance to give something back, whether it is giving something to a charity shop, organising a charity bake sale at work, pledging to volunteer or just helping out someone round the corner,” he added. Third Force News

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Charity Times - 13/11/18

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING Charities face £10m a year hit from probate fee rethink Charities warn that a rise in probate fees will cost them at least £10m a year as the increased charges take up larger parts of estates and thus mean smaller donations. Matthew Lagden, of the Institute of Legacy Management, said the losses come at a time when many charities are struggling to meet growing demand for their services.Ministers took the decision to increase probate fees by 3,771% despite the protests of more than 800 charities, trade bodies and businesses. Last week the Ministry of Justice announced that probate fees would rise from a set fee of £215 - £155 if a solicitor is employed - to more than £6,000 for the largest estates. Of the 831 organisations that responded to a consultation on the fee changes, 810 disagreed with the proposals, typically branding them “excessive” and “unjustified.” Charitable bequests currently generate almost £3bn a year for the UK’s charity sector. Mr Lagden said he was “deeply concerned” by the reforms, stating that “The new fees would significantly reduce income for charities reliant on legacy gifts.” Daily Mail The Guardian The Sunday Times The Sunday Times The Sunday Times UKFundraising Over 2,000 charities are supporting Giving Tuesday More than Over 2,000 charities, including Barnardo’s, Marie Curie, Cancer Research UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and the RSPCA, have signed up to be Giving Tuesday partners for this year’s event, which takes place on November 27th. Ben Russell, Director of Communications at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “This is a milestone for Giving Tuesday in the UK; five years in and the campaign just gets bigger and better every year, helping more and more people to give to the causes that they cherish." UKFundraising £20 donation limit for new text giving platform Mobile fundraising firm donr has launched Text Giving, a new text giving platform with a maximum donation limit of £20 that offers charities a choice of any keyword when donating, and no set-up or monthly fee. "Most text giving platforms are either prohibitively expensive or don’t have the features that charities have come to expect . . . We wanted to ensure that small to medium charities were also able to easily access the latest evolution of text giving,” said donr CEO Chris Newell. Charity Digital News Free online guide to help Gift Aid claims A free online guide to help charities complete their Gift Aid donations schedule has been launched by HM Revenue and Customs. The guide include information about how to reclaim tax on eligible donations, use of correct software, completion of the schedule, and filling in the form. Civil Society COMMUNICATION Top charity chief executives on social media The top charity leaders on social media were named at last week's Social CEO awards in London. Kate Collins, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, came out on top. She was named as the overall winner of the Best CEO on Social Media award, while Helen Stokes-Lampard, CEO of Royal College of General Practitioners, was awarded both Best Trustee on Social Media and Best Digital Trustee. Best Leader on Social Media was Caroline Price of BEAT; Best Rising Star on Social Media was Nikki Bell of BHF; Julie Dodd of Parkinson’s UK was named Best Digital Leader; and Best Digital Champion was Liz Green of YouthLink Scotland. Charity Times Civil Society FINANCE Charities urged to improve property knowledge A new report suggests a third of charities are experiencing difficulty accessing core funding for their property, with a growing number claiming that property issues are a barrier to the delivery of charitable objectives. Over 23% of respondents to the report published by the Ethical Property Foundation said they spend more than a fifth of their annual expenditure on property costs and over 15% said they spend a quarter of their income on property. The report urges charities to improve their own knowledge of the properties they manage, noting: “There is widespread weakness in charities’ own capacity to manage property effectively. This starts at the top with a lack of knowledge among trustees and a misunderstanding of their responsibilities . . . The message for trustees is to institute regular property reports and risk assessments, assigning a key person with property responsibilities, whether paid or voluntary.” Civil Society STRATEGY RSA chief urges charities to collaborate Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, has told theAssociation of Charitable Foundations' annual conference that charities must be more willing to collaborate in radical and creative ways. He said organisational legacies and boundaries, including grantmaking foundations' wishes to protect their image and history, are hindering the pursuit of substantive societal change. "You have to work incredibly hard to genuinely be willing to challenge the way in which your organisation works; its traditions, governance . . . and focus completely on whatever it is that is most likely to bring about change, Mr Taylor said, citing the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) as a “unique” model for collaborating to effect change. The DEC is "a collection of charities which, in extremis, put aside their individual interests and come together to create genuine momentum and help the public t ry and m ake a difference," he said. Third Sector Civil Society Guide Dogs to rebrand Guide Dogs has announced it is to rebrand and launch a new website in 2019 as it seeks to more than double the number of individuals it helps. Ray Brooks, chief information officer at the sight loss charity, noted unprompted awareness amongst the public is low. “If you say ‘can you name ten charities?’ only 2% name Guide Dogs,” he said. Guide Dogs is also to move towards a single database for everyone who comes into contact with the charity. People who have multiple roles can end up on “five different databases,” said Brooks. Civil Society LEGAL Care charity cuts sleeping workers' wages Social care charity Alternative Futures Group (AFG) plans to cut staff wages to below the National Minimum Wage for those on "sleep-in" shifts. The charity's proposal comes after the government published updated guidance on such shifts following a court decision earlier this year that said workers on sleep-in shifts were not always entitled to the full minimum wage. However Mencap, which was involved in the case, itself has said its court action was chiefly to prevent a backdated liability. Mencap chief executive Jan Tregelles said the government should legislate to ensure sleep-ins were paid at the minimum wage and said the charity remained committed to paying staff the full minimum wage for time spent asleep. Civil Society Barnardo’s loses legal battle to shift pensions indexation Children's charity Barnardo's has lost its legal push to save cash by switching the basis of annual increases for its pension scheme members from the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to the Consumer Prices Index, a typically lower measure. The charity’s trustees had argued they were able to switch from the RPI to “any replacement adopted by the trustees without prejudicing approval” as set out in their pension rules - but the charity’s appeal was dismissed in court. The judges said the correct interpretation of pension rules was that a different inflation calculation should only be used if the RPI itself is replaced. Financial Times Civil Society Charity Times RETAIL Charity shop numbers down by more than 100 in first half of 2018 Figures compiled by the data directory business the Local Data Company for its Retail and Leisure Trends Report show that the number of charity shops in Great Britain fell by 119 in the first six months of 2018. Yorkshire and Humber was the only British region that saw more charity shops open than close. In Scotland, 35 charity shops closed in the first half of 2018 - more than any other region of the UK. Third Sector Third Force News CAMPAIGNS Epilepsy campaign for schools Olivia Salvati is fronting a campaign by the Young Epilepsy charity to help educators recognise the signs of absence seizures. Ms Salvati claims that her seizures were often perceived as a lack of concentration in class. The charity states that the average school will have at least one epileptic student and that as signs can sometimes go unnoticed for long periods, teachers must be made aware of what to look out for. BBC News Spice Girls release charity clothing range The Spice Girls pop band has partnered with Comic Relief to create a clothing range, each item emblazoned with the hashtag #IwannabeaSpiceGirl. All of the proceeds will go towards Comic Relief's Gender Justice, which champions equality for women. Evening Standard

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