Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 8 October

Bates Wells Highlights

NCVO has launched a range of safeguarding guidance and resources for charities. 


At a glance

A new report “The value of charity” has been published jointly between the Charity Commission and Frontier Economics.   

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has published a research report it has commissioned on the new legal form for charities in Scotland, the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. 

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has issued an update and FAQs in response to the High Court ruling earlier this year that the NI charity legislation does not permit the board of CCNI to delegate decisions to staff.


Charity Commission

Annual Public Meeting

The commission has published the text of Baroness Stowell’s speech at the regulator’s recent Annual Public Meeting which reiterates the commission’s strategy unveiled the previous year, highlighting her view that it is the responsibility of all charities to uphold the reputation of charity in general.

During the course of the speech, Baroness Stowell refers to a new report published the previous day entitled “The value of charity” which was published jointly between the commission and Frontier Economics (advised by Gus O’Donnell). The report says that its purpose is to explain the steps that are needed to measure the value of the charitable sector, as this would be an important step that would allow the sector to deliver more benefit and to understand its value. It appears to be particularly aimed at explaining this to government and other policy makers. As with the commission’s current strategy, there are references to charities needing to reflect public expectations of them.  

Interim manager appointment

The commission has announced that it has appointed an interim manager to the educational charity Albayan Education Foundation Limited (1128083), which operates a school in Birmingham. The interim manager has been appointed to evaluate the management and administration of the charity, and will act as manager in respect of the property and affairs of the charity. She will carry out this role to the exclusion of the trustees, however the trustees retain control of the day to day running of the charity.

Inquiry report

Name of organisation

Aid and Peace Trust (former registered charity 1140034)

Inquiry report

CC press release

Brief description

The regulator opened a statutory inquiry due to concerns about the management of the charity and the ongoing risk to charitable funds. The Commission carried out a books and records inspection and engaged with the trustees, finding:

  • poor financial oversight, with no annual returns submitted to the Commission since 2013
  • funds transferred to private bank accounts of individuals, with trustees unable to unable to provide assurances on how they had been spent
  • over £68,000 spent outside of the charity’s objects including on a TV appeal, and to send money to a hospital near the Savar building collapse in Bangladesh

Anything unusual e.g. unusual facts or novel/rare use of Commission’s powers

The inquiry secured a voluntary undertaking from all of the trustees that they would not act in the capacity of charity trustee for 3 years.
The charity has been removed from the register.


Tax and VAT

See under Fundraising.


Brexit

General

The government is organising a series of events to help businesses get ready for Brexit.

Last week the Chancellor made various announcements about supporting a range of areas post-Brexit, including an increased National Living Wage and a new £500m Youth Investment Fund.

Funding

NCVO has published this blog about EU funding and the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Northern Ireland

NICVA has published this comprehensive guide to Brexit preparation. 


Safeguarding

NCVO has launched a range of safeguarding guidance and resources for charities.  


Fundraising

Fundraising Regulator

The FR has published “Our consultation policy and process” setting out a guide to its consultation processes.  It states the FR “will consult our stakeholders on policy decisions that may have an impact on the way in which fundraising is carried out” but it will not generally consult on matters of process. This policy will be useful to cross refer to during future FR consultations.

Corporate partnerships

Charities entering into corporate partnerships have to first decide how to value their charity’s brand.  In this article Bates Wells’ Chris Theobald looks at this tricky issue, alongside what steps charities can take to protect their brands. 

Gift Aid

Charity Tax Group has published a new Gift Aid toolkit which includes an Essential Gift Aid Guide and Gift Aid FAQs to share with volunteers and donors. 

Fundraising ethics

This is an interesting article by about fundraising ethics by Ian MacQuillin, director of Rogare – the Fundraising Think Tank. 


Education

Schools

A financial package worth up to £35,000 is to be introduced for new Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Modern Foreign Language teachers.

See this government press release about free schools achieving the highest results for six and seven-year-old pupils for the fifth year in a row.


Health

The Prime Minister has pledged funding for a cancer screening overhaul. 

The government has announced a new Health Infrastructure Plan which aims to:

  • build new hospitals;
  • modernise the primary care estate;
  • invest in new diagnostics and technology;
  • help eradicate critical safety issues in the NHS estate.

A new £35 million government-backed research programme launching this week aims to give more support to teenagers battling with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders.


Social finance

Impact Finance Bulletin: 1,000+ gather for major impact investing meet-up. Pioneers Post round-up of impact finance news in the UK and further afield, including: Resonance Bristol Social Investment Tax Relief Fund helping CIC get investment of £250k; Sweden joining the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing; and the Irish government announcing new €800k pot for social enterprise training.

Betting on character – and why investment must be a means not an end. In this blog, Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen, looks at Acumen’s approach to investing and how it makes the organisation a real ‘invest for impact’.

Chancellor pledges £500m for youth fund. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, has announced that £500m will be made available over the next five years for a new youth investment fund to help build new youth centres, refurbish existing facilities and to provide mobile units to be used in harder to reach areas.

It’s Time To Talk About Scale is a new report from Big Society Capital looking at the potential benefits of scaling social enterprise in the UK and how to go about this, including considering the capital/investment required (the press release/blog give context to the publication).


Employment services

The government has announced two new programmes to help disadvantaged young people into work and use mobile technology to help job-seekers into higher paid jobs.


Scotland

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has published its Annual Review 2018-19.

OSCR has published videos of its “Meet the Regulator” events.

OSCR has published a research report it has commissioned on the new legal form for charities in Scotland, the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).  OSCR says it wanted to know how SCIOs are shaping the Scottish charity sector, and in turn, how this was influencing OSCR’s work. The study combined data from the Scottish charity register with other OSCR data to provide insight on the characteristics of SCIOs compared to other legal forms.


Northern Ireland

See under Brexit above.

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) has issued an update and FAQs in response to the High Court ruling earlier this year that the NI charity legislation does not permit the board of CCNI to delegate decisions to staff. CCNI is now having to pass all decisions to its full board or a sub-committee set up by the Board, including decisions on registration and consents to changes to constitutions. CCNI’s regulatory work is continuing as usual, but decisions may be subject to longer delays.

CCNI has published below a list of organisations which it anticipates will be called forward to apply for registration in the next six months (between November 2019 and March 2020).

CCNI is highlighting the sections of its website where the public can view regulatory decisions which have been taken by the Commission.

CCNI is issuing letters to over 10,000 charity trustees to remind them their charity’s annual return is due for submission this month.


Disclaimer – The information contained in this update is not intended to be a comprehensive update – it is our selection of the website announcements 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.


All content on this page is correct as of October 8, 2019.