Funding round-up: June 2018

A radical look at charitable tax reliefs

The chair of the Charity Tax Commission, Sir Nicholas Montagu, has written a provocative article asking whether we should question the indiscriminate approach to charitable tax reliefs. He suggests we might want to start asking some awkward questions about whether public benefit could be increased if we distinguished between charities by size, purpose, demonstrable impact, geographical location or other criteria.

The piece highlights the kind of bold ideas for reform that the commission is keen to explore through its call for evidence and public evidence sessions. If you’d like to join the debate click here to register for a free place at any of the following events:

  • 27 June Birmingham, in partnership with BVSC. 10.00-12.00
  • 9 July Newcastle, in partnership with VONNE. 14.00-16.00

To find out more about the events, drop me an email. To keep updated on the commission’s work, follow it on Twitter.

NCVO Civil Society Almanac 2018

Every year, NCVO researchers sift through a huge amount of data to provide the most comprehensive overview of the UK voluntary with the Civil Society Almanac.

Large charities have continued to grow. Around 3% of all voluntary organisations having an annual income of over £1m and account for 81% of the sector’s total income. The data also shows that people continue to be the sector’s most important source of income with nearly half (47%) of the voluntary sector’s income coming from individuals. Read Claire Bernard’s blog summarising the 2018 research findings.

Civil society strategy

The engagement exercise that DCMS ran to inform its civil society strategy ended earlier this month, and you can read NCVO’s response in Karl’s blog.

The aim is for the strategy to be published in the Summer. Among other things, we recommend it starts from the principle that government can use the legal and tax framework to encourage and support civil society. We argue that giving and philanthropy, volunteering and social action – private action for public benefit – relieves the state and should be encouraged.

Cash and digital giving

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has published research showing that charities are seeing a decrease in the percentage of donations given in cash, while the majority of respondents to their survey also think that they will be using contactless payments in the near future. However, the research also suggests that the cost of contactless payment technology is a barrier for many charities, leading the IoF to urge government to consider how costs can be reduced for charities (particularly smaller organisations) to adopt contactless payment systems.

A new report on ‘The Future of Giving’ by Barclays looks at the trends in people’s giving, and how we are increasingly becoming a cashless society. 73% of charities have reported a decline in street donations, so technology is going to become even more important as organisations explore new and creative ways of connecting with donors.

Image result for contactless card charity


The Institute of Fundraising has published updated guidance on acceptance, refusal and return of donations. The review of this guidance was undertaken following the Presidents’ Club scandal, to help charities make decisions on when to accept or refuse a gift.

The Fundraising Regulator has published new guidance on handling complaints and announced changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice in relation to handling complaints.

Tobacco control grant scheme

The Department for Health and Social Care has launched a grant scheme for organisations to support the Tobacco Control Plan, including blocks of work around mental health, health inequalities, and smoking by young people. Applications close on 15 June.

Free webinar on trading to become more sustainable

The School for Social entrepreneurs and Good Finance are holding a free webinar 2:00-2.45pm, Wednesday 13th June, aimed at helping social enterprise and charities to understand their business model, develop diverse income streams, unlock entrepreneurialism and move towards a more resilient future. You can register for the seminar here.

Update from Funding Central

We’re highlighting a couple of great funding initiatives for you this month.

Comic Relief’s Tackling Violence against Women and Girls initiative is worth £4 million and has grants available for organisations that are working to end violence and abuse experienced by women and girls across the UK. Provided by Comic Relief, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the UK’s Devolved Administrations. The Government funds have been raised through the Tampon Tax.

The Berkeley Foundation has launched a new fund Combatting Youth Homelessness. The fund is worth £250,000 and is aimed to support young people aged 18-30 who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Greater London, Birmingham and the South of England.

You can find more funding opportunities to support organisations working with homeless people on Funding Central such as the Pret Foundation Trust. The Pret Foundation Trust offer grants to small grassroots charities that are working directly with homeless people in locations near a Pret A Manger store.

To find out more about these funds or to search for thousands of other funding opportunities visit Funding Central

Upcoming training and events

Managing adult and child safeguarding in your organisation 13 July
Writing a sustainable funding strategy17 and 18 July
Charity finance for non-financial managers 20 July
Enterprisingly charitable –11 October
Writing successful bids – 23 November


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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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