Bates Wells Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprises | 23 August 2017

Bates Wells Highlights

Charities, Social Enterprise

For charities getting to grips with the Fundraising Code changes announced in July, Bates Wells has produced a briefing setting out key action points – see Fundraising below for details.

There will be no Bates Wells Briefing next week – we’ll be back the first week of September.

At a glance

The Charity Commission is advertising upcoming outreach events, including workshops for trustees and managers of recently formed charities working in high risk areas internationally.

New research published last week by the Institute of Fundraising and YouGov shows that women say that they are more likely to donate to charity and to support local causes than men.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published a report about charities and cyber security.

Charity Commission

The Commission has published its Charity Register statistics which provide details of the number of charities in various income brackets. The figures are based on the annual gross income reported by charities in their annual returns.

The Commission is advertising upcoming outreach events, including workshops for trustees and managers of recently formed charities working in high risk areas internationally.

Civil Society Media reports the Charity Commission has been asked by Lord Adonis, a former Labour minister, to investigate the universities it regulates over the amount paid to vice-chancellors.


New research published last week by the Institute of Fundraising and YouGov shows that women say that they are more likely to donate to charity and to support local causes than men.

Lord Grade has written a guest blog for the Institute of Fundraising.   It includes a reminder that the Fundraising Regulator plans to publish at the end of August a list of payers and non-payers of the Fundraising Regulator levy.

BWB has published a summary of the changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice announced in July.  One of the main action points is that all charities and fundraising organisations must have a policy in place by 30th November explaining how employees and volunteers can raise concerns about fundraising practice.  This can be part of a wider whistleblowing policy but must cover five key areas set out in the Code.  Steps to put this in place should begin now.  For more see the full briefing here.


See last item under Charity Commission above and second item under Social Finance below.

Social finance

Pioneers Post reports on the Arts Impact Fund which has invested in organisations like the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Walk the Plank. The £7m Fund is funded by Nesta, Arts Council England, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. As funding recipients must deliver social and financial return, Nesta cites this fund as a way of testing demand for repayable finance in the arts and culture sector.

In the wake of A-level results, Pioneers Post has published a special guide to education and training for social entrepreneurs as part of its quarterly magazine. The guide contains a directory of social enterprise courses and business support that higher education institutions offer social entrepreneurs as well as profiles of people and organisations that have prospered with the assistance of academic institutions.

Social enterprise

The CIC Regulator has entered into a three year MOU with Social Enterprise Mark CIC (which offers certification for social enterprises).  Apart from the usual collaboration and information sharing commitments, it also includes that SEM will “support the Community Interest Company as the preferred legal structure for new and pre-start social enterprises”.

See here for a list of new CICs registered in July 2017.  

Social impact

New Philanthropy Capital has published:

Arts and culture

See under Social finance above.

Data protection

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published “Cyber security among charities:  Findings from qualitative research”. Civil Society Media reports it concludes that “there is still a need to raise basic awareness of cyber security among charities”.

The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has published the second in a series of blogs aimed at demystifying aspects of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Last week’s blog is aimed at dispelling myths around consent. BWB’s Mairead O’Reilly comments “It is helpful for the ICO to be emphasising the message that consent is not needed in every situation where personal data is being processed. There has been such an emphasis recently on needing consent to process data that many organisations may not realise that there are often alternative bases (such as legitimate interests) that they can rely on instead.”

ICO fines publicised last week include:

  • a domestic energy saving firm Home Logic UK Ltd  was given a £50,000 penalty for making marketing calls to numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service.  Although Home Logic used an electronic dialler system which screened the numbers against the TPS register, due to technical issues that system was unavailable for 90 days out of 220 between April 2015 and March 2016. On those days, Home Logic continued to make unsolicited marketing calls without any alternative screening against the TPS register.
  • Islington Council has been fined £70,000 after it failed to keep up to 89,000 people’s information secure on its parking ticket system website. Islington Council’s Ticket Viewer system allows people to see a CCTV image or video of their alleged parking offence. It was found to have design faults meaning the personal data of up to 89,000 people was at risk of being accessed by others. That data included a small amount of sensitive personal information such as medical details relating to appeals.  The problem came to light in October 2015 when Islington Council was informed by a member of the public using the system that folders containing personal data could be accessed by manipulating the URL.


The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has published its Annual Review for the financial year 2016-2017.

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) is holding its Annual Public Meeting on 18 September.

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Legal essentials for small charities: which documents do you need?

Our document finding tool will help you to pinpoint exactly what legal essentials your charity needs. Many of the documents will be available on Get Legal, but there are also links to external resources to help ensure your charity stays compliant.

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 August 23, 2017.