Funding round-up: March 2018


Charity Tax Commission launches call for evidence

The Charity Tax Commission is seeking views on people’s experience of the charity tax system and ideas for reform. They want to hear from anyone with knowledge, expertise or experience of the system of charitable tax reliefs, including charities, donors, academics, and representative bodies. The 16-week call for evidence is open until Friday 6 July. To find our more, visit the call for evidence page or download the consultation document (DOCX, 55KB).

In his blog, the commission’s chair, Sir Nick Montagu, talks about the power of tax reliefs as a tool for achieving policy objectives, supporting the sector in helping disadvantaged communities, and why a review is necessary to ensure the system is helping charities generate the maximum public benefit.

Spring Statement

Last week the Chancellor delivered his first Spring Statement since the government moved to having only one major fiscal event a year with the Autumn Budget. A slight improvement to the public finances resulted in an upbeat speech, but behind the Tigger jokes was a continuation of the fiscal discipline that has characterised Spreadsheet Phil’s tenancy of Number 11. My blog summarises the key points of the announcement, including upcoming consultations that charities should be aware of.

One of these consultations is on cash and digital payments in the new economy (PDF, 230KB) which floats the idea of phasing out 1p and 2p coins. Although the government seems to have committed a U-turn on this, we can expect the issue to resurface in the future. In his blog, Karl Wilding sets out some points for charities and policymakers to consider, while the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) want to hear from charities about how they’re experiencing changes in donations.

£600m of unclaimed Gift Aid

Research conducted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has shown that a third of eligible donations made to UK charities do not add Gift Aid when they could have done. This means that charities are losing out on extra funding worth nearly £600 million a year.

The government is urging donors to ‘Tick the Gift Aid box’ and has written to 50,000 charities to promote the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS). GASDS allows charities to claim a 25% top-up for donations worth up to £20, but since its implementation, take up has been slower than anticipated due to poor awareness and complex rules.

Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into European Social Funds

NCVO recently gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s inquiry into the future of the European Social Fund. We highlighted to the Committee the need for government to put in place a replacement programme to ESF following Brexit, and set out our proposals (PDF, 266KB) on how a future fund should be designed and delivered. You can watch the session on Parliament TV .

We’re coordinating a working group with the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) which is highlighting to government the importance of ESF for disadvantaged communities – please do get in touch if you want to know more.

Government response to the Commission on Dormant Assets’ report

The government has published its response (PDF, 450KB) to the Commission on Dormant Assets’ report. There’s no mention of the long-awaited consultation on how the £1–2bn earmarked for good causes will be distributed,  only that the government plans to announce senior industry champions to lead further work, and will ‘undertake a preliminary assessment of the legislative amendments required to enable an expanded dormant assets scheme’. We’ve called on the government to invest money from dormant assets in income-generating endowment funds which can be used to fund small and local charities now and in the future.

Changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice post-GDPR

The Fundraising Regulator has published changes to the Code which will come into effect 25 May 2018 following the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). To help fundraisers understand the key parts of GDPR in relation to direct marketing and lawfully contacting supporters, the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) have produced guidance on the the key questions.

Civil Society Strategy

Tracey Crouch, the minister for civil society, has launched a 12-week consultation with a public call for evidence to inform the new civil society strategy. The strategy is aimed at improving how government and public bodies interact with the charity sector. We’re keen to hear your views on the strategy, so please do get in touch if you want to be involved.

NCVO Annual Conference

NCVO’s Annual Conference will be taking place in London on Monday 16 April – you can read the full programme here. Among the wide range of breakout sessions there will workshops on ‘The past, present and future of major donor fundraising’ and ‘Fundraising in an age of GDPR’.

Update from Funding Central

On Funding Central we’re featuring the Veolia Environmental Trust, who are now accepting applications for projects taking place this autumn/winter. Grants of up to £75,000 are available in three areas: community buildings, outdoor spaces, and play and recreation for projects located with five miles of a Veolia Environmental services facility.

The Arts Council is now accepting applications to its new £97.3 a year programme. The Project Grants programme is replacing Grants for the Arts as well as absorbing some elements of other Arts Council England funds, which have now closed to applications. The programme has been designed to be more open to supporting those working in creative and digital media than the previous Grants for the Arts programme.

You can access more information on thousands of different grants, contracts and social investment and keep up-to-date with all the latest news, deadlines and funding opportunities from around the sector subscribe to NCVO’s Funding Central.

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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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