Funding round-up: April 2019

New website from Inspiring Impact

Inspiring Impact have launched a new website aimed at small and medium charities that do not have impact management teams to find practices to improve impact. The site provides free online resources and tools to help charities plan, understand and improve their impact. Image from Inspiring Impact website showing available tools

Small trading limit increased to £80,000

The government has increased the upper limit for trading that charities can carry out without incurring a tax liability. HMRC guidance has been updated with the rates for 2019 effective from 6 April 2019. You can find more information on the Charity Tax Group website.

Complaints annual report from the Fundraising Regulator

The Fundraising Regulator has published its complaints report for 2017/18. The report brings together learning from their investigations alongside data on fundraising complaints handled by the sector. It includes key themes and a range of investigation summaries, to share learning and highlight the cases they dealt with.

Infographic from Frundraising Regulator's report

Village hall improvement grant fund

The government has launched a new £3m fund to improve village halls. The scheme – managed by ACRE on behalf of Defra – will fund up to 20% of eligible costs, with a minimum grant of £10,000 and a maximum grant of £75,000 payable. This means overall scheme costs would be between £50,000 and £375,000.

Commissioning – getting a better deal for smaller charities

NCVO, ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation have announced a new project to rebalance the relationship between large and small voluntary organisations in public services. Rebalancing the Relationship aims to look at current bidding and commissioning practices. The move follows concern that smaller organisations are being squeezed out of public service delivery. There will be a call for evidence in coming weeks with a research report expected in the autumn. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.

For the best outcomes for people using public services, we need a system that allows a range of organisations to flourish and deliver high quality services.

We want to look under the bonnet of current commissioning practices to explore the issues faced by organisations of all sizes. We will then work with voluntary organisations to explore new ways of cooperating to ensure the long-term sustainability of organisations of all sizes across the voluntary sector delivering public services.

– Sir Stuart Etherington, NCVO Chief Executive

New Making Tax Digital guidance

There is new HMRC guidance on when organisations (including VAT registered charities) should be signing up for Making Tax Digital. Questions answered include:

  • when should you sign up a business for MTD?
  • are there any restrictions?
  • when do I need to submit my first digital return?
  • when is the right time to sign up?

You can find more information on the Charity Tax Group website.

Writing for Civil Society, Tim Hooper has set out some of the unexpected benefits of Making Tax Digital.

Delay to spending review?

The chancellor has warned that because the UK’s exit from the EU now pushed back to as late as 31 October, the three-year spending review planned for the autumn might now become a one-year extension to existing budgets.

Responsible investment

NCVO has joined a coalition of charities who have written to the Charity Commission and Attorney General to seek a landmark ruling on whether and how charities should align their investments with their objects and their duty to provide public benefit. We have supported this because the law on charity trustee investment duties was last considered nearly three decades ago. Since then, there have been so many important legislative and market developments that are likely to mean the law is seriously outdated. Any organisation that wants to join the coalition or find out more can go to the BWB website.


JustGiving will no longer charge a 5% platform fee to charities in the UK. Instead, donors will be able to make a voluntary contribution to support the operation of JustGiving’s platform. Their media release has more detail.

Insights on core funding

The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation has published a report sharing insights into core funding (PDF, 520KB). The report is for funders who care not just about the impact of what they fund, but the impact of how they fund. It shares insights from the hundreds of organisations the foundation have supported in recent years with core funding.
Image from Esmee Fairbairn Foundation report

Updated guidance on GDPR for fundraising organsiations

The Institute of Fundraising has published a refreshed version of its GDPR: The Essentials for Fundraising Organisations guidance. The update includes new information around minimising data protection risks, advice about when you need to consider employing a data protection officer and tips on how to assess whether you have a legitimate interest for carrying out direct marketing under GDPR.

Developing fundraising strategy course

The FSI have a new e-learning course Developing Your Fundraising Strategy. Access the course and plenty of other subsidised training by joining as an FSI member for free.


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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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