Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 16 May 2017

Bates Wells Highlights


Cycling opportunity!

On Saturday 27 May, the Stephen Lloyd Awards are organising a 15 mile and 30 mile cycling fundraising event to bring our community together and to raise more funds for the awards. If you would like to cycle, join us along the way or sponsor our endeavours. See below for more details.

At a glance

ACEVO has published a financial guide ‘Financial governance: a gentle guide for the non financial charity trustee’.

NCVO has published the 2017 UK Civil Society Almanac.

The Institute of Fundraising has published “Insights on charity fundraising: changes in knowledge, attitude, and action as a result of donating”.

Researchers from the University of Oxford have published a report “Social Impact Bonds: The Role of Private Capital in Outcome-Based Commissioning”.

OSCR has published a new guidance factsheet about reserves.

Charity Commission

CC News

The latest edition of Charity Commission news has been issued. It includes a large number of short articles, mostly relating to topics we have covered in the website review in recent months. Points to note are that:

  • Within the next two months, the Commission will be launching two new digital services, to apply to change a charity’s name and to apply to amend a charity’s objects.
  • A decision on implementation of the new automatic disqualification provisions for trustees and senior managers will now need to be made by the new Government following the general election and the Commission will then provide further updates.

Accounts Monitoring Report

The Commission has published its report into its review of accounts filed by charities in the Commission’s ongoing class inquiry into “double defaulting” charities. The Commission has issued a press release about the report which states that the majority of the accounts submitted were found to be of good and acceptable quality and those who used the Commission’s accounts templates were more likely to have good quality accounts. However it was clear that not all trustees understood the external scrutiny requirements.

Inquiry Report – double defaulter

The latest “double defaulter” inquiry report has been published, into Keren Shmuel (1058334).

MoU with Big Lottery Fund

The Commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Big Lottery Fund which sets out how the two organisations should work together, including how they will share information in order to prevent misconduct by charities.

Audit and accounting

The Financial Reporting Council is consulting on changes to Practice Note (PN) 11 “The audit of charities in the UK”.  The proposed changes reflect the implementation of FRS 102 and a new Charities SORP; the implementation of revised ISAs (UK) in 2016; and lessons learned from recent publicity about charities, particularly as regards going concern and the auditor’s responsibility to report to charity regulators. The consultation closes on 25 August 2017.  

Written by Dorothy Dalton, Rathbones and ACEVO have published a financial guide ‘Financial governance: a gentle guide for the non financial charity trustee’.


NCVO has published the 2017 UK Civil Society Almanac. See here for a short video summarising the highlights and here for a short summary. 

Recruitment consultancy Green Park and substance misuse prevention charity Addaction have produced a free guide, ‘Thinking Differently About Difference; the Value of Diversity in the Social Sector ‘, challenging the sector to think in new ways about diversity and embed it across all parts of the organisation.

Election and campaigning

New Philanthropy Capital has published an open letter to the next Government.  

BWB’s Simon Steeden has written an article for the Law Society Gazette on the General Election: Non-party campaigning rules.



The House of Lords EU Select Committee has published a report considering the impact of Brexit on agriculture.

On 27 April 2017, the government published its response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s (EAC’s) January 2017 report on the Future of the Natural Environment following Brexit. The government has not agreed with the EAC’s recommendation that the UK needs a new Environmental Protection Act. However, the government does say that leaving the EU will include examining ways to improve the legislative and regulatory framework.



The Institute of Fundraising has published Insights on charity fundraising: changes in knowledge, attitude, and action as a result of donating‘.  The report summarises the results of a recent YouGov survey.  Some headlines include:

  • 81% percent of people who gave a donation did so after being asked to support a cause, rather than it being a spontaneous decision.
  • 30% of those who were asked to donate thought they would not have donated at all if they were not asked.
  • 10% said that they would have donated a smaller amount if they hadn’t been asked. 
  • The most common form of being asked to donate was through a charity shop (22%) whilst another 9% gave to someone collecting through a bucket or a collection tin.

Fundraising Regulator

The May 2017 newsletter from the FR includes:

  • That the Fundraising Preference Service is still on track for launch in July 2017. 
  • That the FR is working towards allowing third parties to register with it as soon as possible.  Currently only charities can register.


See this Civil Society Media article about the amount raised from society lotteries last year and reforms proposed by the Lotteries Council.

Social finance

UnLtd’s ‘Big Venture Challenge’ social investment scheme comes to an end

Pioneers Post reports that the Big Venture Challenge (BVC), a pioneering social investment scheme launched by UnLtd that has helped to scale 120 social ventures in the last four years, has come to an end. The BVC was initially launched in response to the “missing middle” identified in social investment, that being amounts of between £50,000 and £250,000. The investment came with business support, and attracted 170 social investors since its inception. Further details of the scheme can be found here.

Crowdfunding to be ‘worth more than any one charity by 2019’, says Charles Wells from JustGiving

Third Sector reports that Charles Wells (chief marketing officer at the fundraising platform JustGiving, speaking at the Institute of Fundraising’s technology conference in London), told delegates that crowdfunding is set to generate more income than any single charity by 2019. Wells said that the trend towards the use of crowdfunding was driven by young people, and although many charities were struggling to engage them as donors, such platforms could provide an opportunity. He also highlighted that 80 per cent of crowdfunding donors on JustGiving donated from mobile phones, compared with 60 per cent of fundraising donors. Further details can be found here.

Researchers from the University of Oxford have published this report ‘Social Impact Bonds: The Role of Private Capital in Outcome-Based Commissioning‘. 

The thinktank Theos has published a report ‘Doing Good Better: The Case for Faith-based Social Innovation‘, which argues that religious institutions and faith communities, who already have a strong track record in helping those in need should consider how social innovation can help them achieve greater impact in response to a range of social problems.

Financial crime

The Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) will come into force on 26 June 2017. Ahead of its implementation, the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) has been consulting on updates to its guidance for financial services firms. The JMLSG is made up of the leading UK Trade Associations in the Financial Services Industry and aims to promote good practice in countering money laundering and to provide practical support in interpreting the UK Money Laundering Regulations.  On 9 May 2017, JMLSG published for consultation, a revision of Part II and Part III of its guidance. Part II deals with issues faced by a range of subsectors of the financial services sector whilst Part III sets out specialist guidance on a number of topics such as compliance with the UK financial sanctions regime. Part I of the revised guidance was published on 21 March 2017 and contains guidance for all financial services firms.

Supporting FinTech innovation

On 12 May 2017, the FCA issued a press release announcing that it has entered into a co-operation agreement with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong. The agreement sets out how the FCA and SFC will share and use information on financial services innovation in their respective markets. The FCA has described this move as ‘being absolutely vital in fostering an environment of Fintech innovation on a global scale’.

Social enterprise

Social Enterprise UK has issued this press release about the one year on anniversary of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge.

Health and social care

The Competition and Markets Act (CMA) has announced on its website that it has updated the timetable for the conduct of its market study into the supply of care home services for the elderly in the UK. The CMA launched the market study on 2 December 2016. It is looking into possible consumer and competition concerns, in particular complaints systems and unfair contract terms.  The CMA has now indicated that it expects to publish an interim report on the market study in mid-June 2017 and to publish its final report in mid-November 2017.

Faith based organisations

See under Social Finance above.


This is an interesting article from New Philanthropy Capital about philanthropy in the UK and services NPC can provide to philanthropists.

Data protection

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (“DCMS”) recently consulted on some possible areas in which the UK government could add to or amend the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The GDPR is due to be implemented in the UK in May 2018. The consultation was worded in very broad terms, with little detail of how DCMS envisaged any exceptions being drafted. There was therefore little “meat” in the consultation, but BWB nevertheless felt it was important to respond, flagging some of the key concerns arising for our commercial, charity, social enterprise and faith-based clients.  See here for the BWB response. 

The Digital Economy Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017.  Section 96 amends the Data Protection Act 1998 to require the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to prepare a new statutory code of practice on direct marketing. The code is intended to make it easier for the ICO to take action against nuisance callers, and to impose fines on them. Section 96 will come into force on 28 June 2017.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued Keurboom Communications Ltd with a £400,000 money penalty notice for a serious contravention of regulation 19 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2426) (PECR). Keurboom used an automated calling system to make more than 99 million recorded direct marketing calls, mainly concerning road traffic accidents and PPI claims. This is the highest penalty ever imposed by the ICO for nuisance marketing, although the ICO has previously imposed a monetary penalty of the same amount for a failure to keep personal data secure.

See here for the ICO’s annual performance statistics for 2016/17.


OSCR has published a new guidance factsheet about reserves.

OSCR has also updated its guidance on completing annual returns online.

Northern Ireland

CCNI is urging every charity that has not accessed its online record to do so as soon as possible to check whether the information is correct and make any necessary changes. This is because only 62% of registered charities in Northern Ireland have accessed their online record on the register of charities in the past 11 months – a figure which the Commission finds “suspiciously low”.

Thinking before litigating

recent decision from the Court of Appeal serves as an important reminder that it is vital to be clear at the earliest opportunity about all of the possible legal arguments that a client may wish to make, and what they hope to achieve, as not all courts and tribunals are capable of hearing all arguments. BWB’s Emma Dowden-Teale and Sophie Lloyd explain the case, which deals specifically with the ability of the First-Tier Tribunal to hear human rights arguments in cases and brings into focus much broader questions about the things a claimant will need to think about when considering the appropriate forum for litigation.”

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A new bundle of Employment documents has been created in the form of a Staff Handbook, available for you to customise and download to your specification. Priced at £180, purchasing the handbook saves you £90 compared to purchasing the individual documents.

The Handbook includes:

  • Flexible working policy
  • Whistleblowing policy
  • Grievance policy
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  • Expenses policy
  • Capability procedure
  • Social media policy

Stephen Lloyd Awards 2017

On Saturday 27 May, the Stephen Lloyd Awards committee are organising a 15 mile and 30 mile cycling fundraising event to bring our community together and to raise more funds for the awards. All are welcome (experienced or not) . We are keen to get as many participants as possible, so feel free to bring your friends and/or family who would enjoy cycling.  Organised by one of the award’s supporter and leading charity events organiser, Skyline Events, it promises to be a fun experience!  If you are interested in participating, please register a place by clicking here, or contact Mona Rahman at [email protected].

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of May 16, 2017.