Sustainable funding round-up: May 2016

Fundraising Preference Service, opt-in and new regulation

‘What’s happening with regulation? And what should we do about it?’

These were the two questions I was most frequently asked in my surgery at the recent NCVO Annual Conference. It’s on everyone’s minds, and rightly so. But there is, quite seriously, nothing concrete to report until the summer, at which point NCVO will be running a series of training events and briefings on the subject.

So the news is that there is no news. Yet.

It is only by this point that the various working groups will have reported back. Which groups?

  • The NCVO working group on the new opt-In regulations
  • NCVO is providing secretariat support to the FPS working group
  • The Charity Commission is currently analysing responses to its consultation on what charities and their trustees need to consider when fundraising from the public – also referred to as CC20.

Of course, it is sensible even so to begin to consider how requirements for all contacts to ‘opt in’ to communications will affect you, and how you can begin to prepare, such as thinking about how your communications are valued.

And you could think about whether your trustees are up to speed with responsibilities overseeing funding and fundraising (as indicated in the old CC20). Are the right challenging, insightful questions being asked about finances at board meetings? It’s more than whether they add up. Trustees need to understand how money is raised and what the choices and risks are.

To whet your appetite while you’re waiting:

Interested in social investment?

Then check out this blog post on NCVO’s research in this area. It clearly outlines the various factors that might influence potential demand for secured lending to charities, as shown in the chart below.


And you may also want to check out the report on the Social Value Act from the Cabinet Office and Social Enterprise UK, which worked with three commissioning authorities to look at learning from the practical implementation of social value for commissioners.

Other funding discussion

More to look out for

  • The Queen’s Speech – on 18 May, the Queen will set out the government’s legislative agenda for the next year, which often contains measures that affect charities. Keep an eye out for Michael’s post on the NCVO blog to see what this year’s speech will mean for the sector.
  • Apprenticeships Levy – details on the apprenticeships levy continue to trickle out of government – although it’s only going to affect your charity if you have a payroll above £3m. Levy money that remains unused for apprenticeship training within 18 months will be rolled back into the system, so charities that do have to pay into the system will have to use or lose the money within this period. BIS recently published the Apprenticeship Levy Employers Guide, which sets out more detail on how the levy will work, but it is still unclear how employers can become accredited to provide training for their apprentices themselves – and therefore spend their levy internally. Further documentation’s due out in June.
  • Gift Aid consultations – we’re just finishing a joint consultation response on the Gift Aid Donor Benefits consultation, that we hope will lead to some considerable simplification of the scheme, for both smaller and larger charities. And we’ll also be feeding into the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme consultation, the rules for which we think have been keeping smaller charities from taking advantage of a really useful scheme. If you’ve used or have been interested in the scheme, and the matching requirement or any other element has been an issue for you, we’d be really interested in hearing from you.

Training and events

  • How can you develop a sustainable funding strategy for your organisation? The next cohort of the Certificate in Financial Sustainability registration is open.
  • Struggling with your success rate when applying for grants? You may like to try Writing Successful Bids – 10 June.
  • Wondering how to develop your trading idea? Turning ideas into income: Starting a new trading venture – 13 June.
  • The date of our next Fundraising Skills for Trustees course is not yet confirmed. Please email to be alerted when we open bookings.
  • Need support with your Reaching Communities Organisation Review? We have recently received a number of enquiries about helping with an organisation review to identify strengths, weaknesses and action plans for improvement after organisations have won grants from Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities Drop a line to our team to find out more. In the application stage? We can offer a couple of free tools to help.

Or you can always contact us about training or consultancy support.

And if you have anything you think we should include in next month’s round-up, please do drop me a line.


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Avatar photo Richard Sved is an NCVO sustainable funding consultant. He has worked and volunteered in the charity sector for 25 years. He has led the fundraising function (in-house and as an interim) for six national charities, including National Literacy Trust, Leap Confronting Conflict and Girlguiding.

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