Charity policy round-up: June 2019

Publication of the 2019 Civil Society Almanac

We have published the 2019 edition of the Civil Society Almanac, our annual treasure trove of facts and figures related to the charity sector.

You can read about the key emerging trends in Lisa Hornung’s blog post.

And I have written about what the policy context can tell us about the data.

Charity Commission inquiry report into Oxfam

After a statutory inquiry lasting over a year, the Charity Commission has published its report into Oxfam.

As is now practice, the report also includes a section on wider lessons for trustees. This is a helpful part of the report that all trustees should read and reflect upon, whether their charity works internationally or just domestically, and whether its activities involve children and vulnerable adults or wider staff and volunteers.

Here is a blog post from me on why safeguarding is important for every trustee, and how we can help.

Bullying in the charity sector

ACEVO and Centre for Mental Health have published In plain sight: workplace bullying in charities and implications for leadership.

The report shines a light on how there have been times when staff and volunteers in charities have not been treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.

As we said after having read the report, anyone who works or volunteers for charity, or uses its services, has the right to feel safe.

Sadly charities are not immune from abusive behaviour, but our approach to tackling them must be of the highest standard. That is why resources such as the Charity Ethical Principles and ACEVO’s commitments to action are so important.

Labour civil society strategy

Labour has published its civil society strategy From Paternalism to Participation.

The pledges set out reveal that there is much in common with government’s civil society strategy. For example:

  • the introduction of a public right to control neglected community assets
  • the creation of a community innovation fund for the running of community led activities in community spaces
  • an increase in grant funding
  • support for charities in using digital technology.

Many have commented that the biggest difference is in tone, and in the greater emphasis given to charities’ role in advocacy and campaigning.

New Code of Fundraising Practice

The Fundraising Regulator has launched its new and improved Code of Fundraising Practice.

The changes focus on the style, presentation, clarity and accessibility of the current code. They aim to make it easier to navigate the Code and understand what the standards are. So for example:

  • the language has been reviewed to be in plain English
  • all the standards relating to public collections that previously appeared in separate Rule Books have been incorporated, meaning that all of the relevant standards can now be found in one place.

See this blog from the Institute of Fundraising about the new Code and what you need to know.

The new Code will come into effect in October 2019.

Transposition of the EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive

HM Treasury has been consulting on the transposition of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive, which includes the requirement for all charitable trusts to register with the Trust Registration Service.

ACF has responded to the consultation, with support from NCVO and CFG.

Our key message is about the importance of engaging with charity representatives throughout the process of implementing the Directive, in order to minimise any regulatory burden.

Social Value in government procurement

Government has been consulting on how it should take greater account of social value in the award of central government contracts.

NCVO submitted a response (PDF, 870KB) jointly with the Charity Finance Group (CFG) and the Small Charities Coalition (SCC).

YouGov analysis of charitable giving in Britain

YouGov’s paper What motivates charitable giving? explores how charities can keep the next generation of supporters engaged, why some people choose not to give to charity, and which charities have the highest levels of satisfaction.

Charity chief executives as ‘de facto’ company directors?

A charity chief executive has been labelled as a ‘de facto’ company director and disqualified from acting further as such. The reasons stated by the Insolvency Service are that he entered into payment by results contracts ‘without undertaking the necessary due diligence and failed to realise that the targets set were unachievable’.

This is a very unusual case, but it could be setting a precedent with regards to the financial responsibilities of charity chief executives.

Cyber Security for charities

The National Cyber Security Centre has developed Stay Safe Online: Top Tips for Staff. This is an online learning tool for staff in small to medium enterprises, and charities. It aims to educate users about how cyber attacks happen, where vulnerabilities lie and what steps to take to avoid them.

 

 

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Elizabeth Chamberlain Elizabeth is head of policy and public services at NCVO. She has been part of the policy team since 2008, as the expert on charity law and regulation. Her policy interests also include charity campaigning, the sector’s independence, transparency, and accountability.

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