Funding round-up: January 2018

Charity Tax Commission publishes terms of reference

The Charity Tax Commission, recently established by NCVO to undertake a full review of how the tax system works for charities, has published its terms of reference. Charities and members of the public will be able to keep updated on the commission’s work and see information about its members and activities. You can contact me directly if you have any questions.

Dormant accounts money released

The government has announced that up to £330m from dormant bank and building society accounts will be used to help the homeless, disadvantaged young people, local charities and other good causes in the UK over the next four years. While a welcome boon for initiatives tackling important causes, NCVO hopes that the use of an estimated £2bn of dormant assets is used more strategically, for example, by endowing community foundations to provide local grant funding over the long-term and helping charities to purchase community assets. We look forward to making our case to government when it consults later this year.

New Gift Aid donor benefits rules

The government has published a summary of the responses it received to the consultation on simplifying the Gift Aid donor benefits rules. They have decided to simplify the regime by reducing the number of thresholds from three to two, increasing the generosity of the upper threshold. Unfortunately, they will not be implementing a low-level disregard that would have pulled small benefits out of the complex system altogether, as proposed by NCVO.

Gift Aid and changes to income tax in Scotland

Ahead of changes to income rates in Scotland planned from April this year, HMRC has confirmed that charities should continue to claim as normal for Gift Aid whether or not the donor was a Scottish tax payer.

Business rates working group established

Charity Tax Group has set up a new Business Rates working group, in which members can share experiences of business rates with other charities. If you would like to join the group (which will involve a mixture of meetings and e-mail correspondence) please contact

Charity Tax Group also have a useful Charity Tax online tool which provides a detailed explanation of the taxes that charities have to pay and updates on tax changes. Users can search either by tax type or by activity to find out which taxes and reliefs apply to that activity.

A philanthropic sea change, or is it a tsunami?

Writing for Nonprofit Quarterly, Martin Levine says there is a quiet storm brewing in the structure of philanthropy. He notes how donors of all sizes are looking at new vehicles for charitable activities, such as limited liability corporations and donor-advised funds, which allow for greater control and less oversight. While the article focusses on behaviour in the US, the trends it identifies will be of interest to horizon scanners in the UK.

The focus of foundations

NPC and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales have teamed up to ask whether charitable foundations in the UK are doing enough – and doing the right things – to support the voluntary and community sector. They call on funders to consider how they can use their brains, as well as their financial brawn, to support the sector.

Good Finance website

Good Finance is looking to improve the website and project. They’re looking for charities and social enterprises in the UK, with varying degrees of social investment knowledge, to take part in a quick online survey. The survey will take approximately eight minutes to complete. All participants will be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win a £100 John Lewis Voucher.

Our upcoming events


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Avatar photo Paul joined NCVO over seven years ago after working for a leading public affairs agency. Since then he’s led our policy work on a variety of issues, including welfare-to-work reforms, volunteering, the Compact, public service commissioning and procurement regulations. He now leads our work on funding and finance with a particular focus on charity tax relief and safeguarding EU funding post-Brexit.

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