Bates Wells Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprises | 11 October 2017

Bates Wells Highlights

Charities, Social Enterprise

The Fundraising Regulator has launched a new consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice, this time on proposed changes to the Code relating to data protection. See today’s Briefing for more details.

Bates Wells have partnered with NCVO to host this year’s annual trustee conference, ‘Good Governance in Action’ on Tuesday 14 November. See below for more information and to book your place.

At a glance

The Fundraising Regulator and Charity Commission have published a summary of the summit about online charitable giving which took place last month.

NCVO has published an analysis of grant making in the UK.

The International Development Secretary Priti Patel has announced new rules for DFID suppliers.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a blog about changes to ICO fees and registration next year.

Charity Commission

Updated accounts guidance

The Commission has updated its guidance on preparing an annual return to include a link to Charity reporting and accounting (CC15c) and new summary tables showing what you need to submit and has added a new section on how to authorise a charity adviser to submit accounts.

Safer giving advice

The Commission has issued a safer giving alert in relation to humanitarian aid to people fleeing Myanmar.

CC reports, decisions, alerts and statements

A reminder that a full list of CC reports and decisions can be found here. This has been updated to all include all published decisions to date.

CC News

The latest edition of CC News has been published. Most of the contents relate to CC stories which we have covered in website review in recent months. In addition, it contains a link to guidance from HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions (OFSI) to updated sanctions guidance, links to GDPR guidance on the ICO website and links to information about the government’s National Cyber Security Strategy.

New investigation

The Commission has announced that it has opened an inquiry into Chichester and District Dog Rescue Society (255866) and has frozen its bank accounts. The charity was brought to the Commission’s attention when its independent examiner, in accordance with his statutory duties under the Charities Act 2011, reported anomalies in the charity’s financial records. The Commission then reviewed the charity’s accounting records and identified concerns about its financial controls, noted that the charity had failed to submit its accounts for the financial year ending 31 March 2016, and that the accounts for 2015 were not compliant with SORP and had not been independently examined.

Outreach workshops

The Commission is running free workshops on registering a faith-based organisation as a charity, which this week take place in Leeds.

Paying trustees

Charity Finance reports that eighteen of the UK’s top 100 charities pay one or more of their trustees.


NCVO has published this interesting analysis of grant making in the UK.  It includes that:

  • grants to the voluntary sector represents a total of £6.3bn, which is 14% of the total income of the sector.
  • most grant money (93%) comes from other voluntary organisations (47%) or the government (46%).
  • eighty-five percent of central government grants are given out to charities with an income over £1m
  • a third of the money given by the voluntary sector to charities goes to 42 “super-major” charities.
  • almost half of the money spent by local government goes to social, educational and health services


Online giving platforms

The Fundraising Regulator and the Charity Commission have published a summary of the summit which took place in September to discuss online giving platforms.  These are extracts from the summary:

  • platforms which offer the opportunity for crowdfunding and person to person fundraising as well as donating direct to a charity feel confident that the advice they give to individuals setting up pages about the choices available to them and the consequences of those choices is clear. More can be done, working collaboratively, to ensure clear and consistent advice across different platforms and generally to the public. It is critical to avoid confusion about, for example, accountability to the Charity Commission, eligibility for Gift Aid, and what happens in the event of a failed appeal. Platforms agree to work with the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator to agree and disseminate clear and consistent public advice about the choices available for donating.
  • platforms recognise their legal responsibility when acting as commercial participators for charitable donations to make it clear to donors upfront what proportion of their donation will reach the charity. Platforms consider that organisations and individuals setting up pages have good understanding and acceptance of the charges and fees involved but acknowledge that donors and the general public may not always be so clear and that it is not easy to compare fees and charges across different platforms and routes. Platforms confirm their commitment to transparency on fees and charges and will work together with government and regulators to explore how this can be improved.
  • the Fundraising Regulator is reviewing the Code of Fundraising Practice and wants to update and expand the standards for online fundraising set out in the Code. Platforms will work with the Fundraising Regulator to contribute to the review of the Code.
  • the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator will report back to the Minister for Civil Society on the progress of discussions and their assessment of the adequacy of the current regulatory framework.

New consultation on Code changes relating to data protection

The Fundraising Regulator (FR) has launched a new consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice on proposed changes to the Code relating to data protection. The FR says the changes update the Code to mirror the upcoming GDPR legislation, and address issues identified in the number of penalty notices levied by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the last two years.  The changes are also aimed at improving signposting to existing ICO and FR guidance as well as adding and expanding definitions for key terms. The consultation will run until Friday 8th December.

IOF Certification for public fundraising

We mentioned a few weeks ago that charities and commercial fundraisers can now apply to the Institute of Fundraising (IOF) for certification of their street, house to house, private site or telephone fundraising activities.  The IOF is now publishing a list of which charities/third parties are fully or provisionally certified.

Also see below under Scotland.


Sector implications

Civil Society Media reports that Save the Children International saw its growth slow in 2016, in part was due to the weakening of the British pound following the Brexit vote, according to its annual report and accounts, published last week.

Also see under Northern Ireland below.


The Department for Education has published updated guidance for schools forums.

Grants from DFID

The International Development Secretary Priti Patel has announced new rules for DFID suppliers including:

  • a new Code of Conduct to ensure “the highest standards of ethical and professional behaviour by DFID suppliers, with legally enforceable sanctions – such as ending contracts early – for those caught breaking the rules”
  • tougher scrutiny of costs and greater transparency by including new clauses in contracts to allow DFID to inspect costs, overheads, fees and profits of suppliers
  • publishing annual league tables of supplier performance to “name and shame those who are not delivering value for money”
  • stopping so-called “bid candy” practices, by which large suppliers include smaller businesses (such as charities) to win bids, but then drop them from the contract

Social finance

David Stead (from Charities Aid Foundation) has written for Civil Society on the need for charities, like entrepreneurs, to adopt a diversified funding approach. He cites the following new funding sources to be considered by charities: crowd-funding communities via platforms, social investment, charity bank loans, or grant-making bodies funding core costs and sustainability.  

Nick Temple has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Social Investment Business. He will take up his position in January 2018.

Social enterprise

Paul Uppal has been appointed to the newly-established post of Small Business Commissioner (SBC).  Mr Uppal and his team will provide general advice and information to small businesses on matters such as resolving disputes, including signposting small businesses to existing support and dispute resolution services, which will be delivered through the commissioner’s website.  The office of the SBC is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.  The SBC also has powers to consider complaints from small businesses relating to payment matters in connection with the supply of goods and services to larger businesses.


The Employee Ownership Association has published the results of a recent YouGov survey that nearly 60% of those surveyed view employee-owned (EO) businesses as more trustworthy than businesses not owned by their employees.


See here for the official government announcement about “plans for a new generation of council and housing association homes”. 

Data protection

See under Fundraising above.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published this blog about changes to ICO fees.

Modern slavery

The Home Office has published an updated version of its previous 2015 guidance on section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Section 54 of the Act requires certain large businesses to produce an annual statement setting out the steps they have taken to ensure that there is no modern slavery in their own business and supply chains.


OSCR’s newsletter for October can be viewed here.

The Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel and the Institute of Fundraising have signed a new memorandum of understanding.

CAF has published a report on charitable giving in Scotland.

Northern Ireland

On 28 September 2017, NICVA facilitated a discussion session with the Department of Health and sector representatives to begin to pin down areas of concern with regards to Brexit. The immediate fallout in the sector, the potential long-term repercussions and recommendations from the sector with regards to Brexit were among topics under consideration. The DoH identified four major areas as priorities in relation to Brexit and health, namely:

  • Health and Social Care Workforce
  • Cross Border Healthcare and access to Healthcare in other EU states
  • Funding issues
  • Financial risks re Non- Pay Expenditure

Reflections of the Department of Health’s approach to Brexit are noted in this article.

NICVA is collating a series of case studies documenting how Brexit may impact upon the work of voluntary and community centred local organisations in Northern Ireland.

CCNI is publicising the Charities Against Fraud Awards 2017.

CCNI has signed a MoU with the Fundraising Regulator.

New from Get Legal

BWB Get Legal brings you a range of top-quality, affordable legal documents, available to download and customise to your specifications. Every document has been drafted by our expert solicitors.

Is your charity GDPR-ready? Get Legal can help

Our sector-leading experts have drafted a data protection policy which takes into account everything we know about the General Data Protection Regulations, and it’s now available for download on Get Legal. The policy is ideal for any charity requiring a basic policy. It can be used from the day the GDPR comes into force – 25th May 2018.

If you need a working policy before that date, we’ve also got a data protection policy meeting all of the current guidelines.

Get Legal will customise each document to your exact specifications through our responsive question-and-answer process.

To ensure we’ve got you covered from now to May 2018 and beyond, we’re offering both policies for the price of one – just £36 for the pair.

Click here to view the policies and get two for the price of one.

Disclaimer – The information contained in this update is not intended to be a comprehensive update – it is our selection of the website announcements made in the week up to last Friday which we think will be of interest to charities and social enterprises. The content is necessarily of a general nature – specific advice should always be sought for specific situations.

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 October 11, 2017.