Funding and Finance Round-Up: October 2018

This month’s roundup includes a difficult Budget for the Chancellor, Royal Botanic Gardens grants and an update on the Charity Tax Commission and JustGiving.

Budget 2018

On Monday 29 October the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, will present his Budget to Parliament. The Institute for Fiscal studies has reported that the government will need to find an additional £19bn to deliver Theresa May’s Party Conference pledge to end austerity. But with the economy subject to grave uncertainties, a manifesto commitment to eliminate the deficit by the mid-2020s, and lack of appetite for tax rises from within his own party, setting out a vision for the UK economy will not be easy for the Chancellor.

Paul Winyard, NCVO’s senior policy officer will be blogging on the day about how the announcements will affect charities, and you can also follow @NCVO on Twitter for live updates.

JustGiving abolishes fees for national emergencies

Following pressure from both Labour and Conservative MPs, JustGiving has announced it is removing its 5% fee for donations to disaster and major incident funds. The platform will be free to use following major incidents, including acts of terrorism, catastrophes or natural disasters. JustGiving also announced it is consulting with other charities on its approach to taking fees from Gift Aid.

Charity Tax Commission update

The Charity Tax Commission is continuing its consultation process throughout October with a series of themed roundtables, including small charities, faith, international, grant-making, education and public services. The commission’s call for written evidence received over 120 responses, from range of stakeholders including charities, donors, academics, representative bodies, accountants, tax professionals and members of the public. The commission meets in November to discuss the evidence gathered, so there’s still time to have your voice heard if you have any ideas on how the tax treatment of charities can be improved.

Post-Oxfam, charities must come clean on how donors’ money is spent

Writing for the Guardian, Jane Dudman argues that increased demand for charities to prove that every penny funders give goes straight to the frontline conflicts with the need for charities to spend money on administration and monitoring in vital areas like safeguarding. She adds that support staff need to be valued, and that the narrative around fundraising changed to be more transparent and positive about how donor money is spent.

Insurance Premium Tax hikes exposing charities to higher risk

A recent study by Zurich Municipal, has found that rises in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) from 6% to 12% since 2015 are straining voluntary sector organisation’s finances, leading to job cuts, service reductions and other tough financial decisions. They urge the government to freeze IPT in the coming Budget to safeguard against further losses.

Gift Aid and trading arms

Charities can no longer report Gift Aid from their trading arms in their accounts until they actually receive it, unless they have a legal agreement in place, after changes were made to the Charities SORP.  Charities will need to comply with this change for accounting periods beginning on or after 5 October. The updated guidance can be found here.

Top fundraising platforms promise to register with Fundraising Regulator

The four largest fundraising platforms JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving, GoFundMe and BT MyDonate, have promised to sign up to the Fundraising Regulator and comply with changes aimed at them in the Code of Fundraising Practice, by early next year, the regulator has said. It is hoped that this voluntary registration will increase transparency in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Charities not ready for Making Tax Digital requirements

Charities have expressed confusion and concern over the government’s digital tax requirements, ahead of their introduction next April. Richard Bray, vice-chair of the Charity Tax Group, said it would be more difficult for charities to produce some of the MTD data required than it would be for a fully taxable business, in particular with regards to supplying VAT output data.

The Charity Tax Group has information on forthcoming MTD reporting requirements and PwC plans to offer free access to software to charities which may struggle to meet the costs of MTD requirements.

Update from Funding Central

Big Lottery Digital Fund

On 11 October Big Lottery announced details of their new £15m Digital Fund, which is to run for the next two years. The fund is designed to help voluntary sector organisations use digital tools to support communities across the UK. Check out more about the announcement on Funding Central and see if you are eligible for either strand of funding; ‘Digital Pioneers’ or ‘Digital Natives’

Grow Wild

We may be approaching winter but it’s already time to look forward to Spring 2019! Grow Wild grants led by Royal Botanic Gardens (supported by funding from Big Lottery) are funding 50 innovative ideas that connect people and communities with nature.

Grants are being made to group and projects in the UK that are working toward a number of objectives including (but not limited to) working with young people; communities in urban areas and focussing on UK native flora.

To find out more about these funds; to search for thousands of other local, regional, national and European funding opportunities and to receive our weekly funding updates visit Funding Central.

Training and events

Managing adult and child safeguarding in your organisation – 29 October, London
During this course you will learn to identify and plan the actions needed to ensure your organisation is meeting it’s legal safeguarding ‘duty of care’ and maintain your safeguarding arrangements.

Writing successful bids – 23 November, London
This course will teach you the key tactics to make your bid stand out.

Managing data protection in the charity sector – 26 November, London
This advanced course is designed specifically for the person designated to lead GDPR compliance or the Data Controller of the organisation.

Financial intelligence for trustees – 30 November, London
This course will help you to review and assess financial information, improving your ability to monitor resources, articulate impact and make better decisions.

Charity finance for non-financial managers – 7 December
This course will provide you with increased confidence and greater ability to review and assess your organisation’s financial health.

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James Clarke James joined NCVO in 2018 as a Trainee Policy Officer. His primary area of work is funding and finance, including providing secretariat support for the Charity Tax Commission. He also works on safeguarding EU funding post-Brexit.

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