Government policy and funding round up: June 2022

In our latest government policy and funding round-up, we explore rising costs for charities, changes to the annual return, and newly announced funds and bills. For more information about what’s happening in parliament, see our regular inside track round-up.

Rising costs for charities

Many charities will welcome the government’s measures to ease the impact of rising living costs. However, we still have concerns about the rising costs of running a charity. We’re working with many of you to find ways to address this.

Our event, held on 15 June, focused on the impact of rising energy and workforce costs. Charities are concerned about rising energy and fuel costs, as well as the cost of covid testing.

We’re also working with other charities to understand the implications of rising costs for volunteer drivers, and whether the government should review the approved mileage allowance payment rate.

We’re working with other infrastructure bodies to ask the government to support the sector through these challenges – for example, by encouraging giving and uplifting grants and contracts.

There are several practical things organisations can do to reduce costs, such as submitting regular meter readings or getting a smart meter and implementing a salary exchange programme. Our Trusted Suppliers Utility Aid and Lucas Fettes can support NCVO members to take these steps.

Complete our short survey by 24 June to tell us how rising costs are impacting your charity.

Annual return consultation

The Charity Commission is running a consultation on its proposed new approach to the annual return, and a new set of questions it plans to include. These changes would come into effect from 1 January 2023.

We’re considering the implications of these changes for charities. Transparency and improved data are important to:

  • build trust in charities
  • drive good regulation
  • understand charities.

But additional reporting takes time for already busy staff and volunteers, so a proportionate approach is vital.

Share your thoughts by responding to the online consultation by 1 September.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a pot of money aimed at reducing economic inequality between regions across the UK. It will be allocated to all areas of England, and local governments will be responsible for creating local plans with a broad range of stakeholders, including charities. Local plans must be submitted between 30 June and 1 August.

Accessing the UKSPF will rely on lead authorities understanding the work that charities do and the needs of the people you work with. You’ll need to work with lead authorities to ensure they understand what’s currently provided in your area, and which services are at risk of closure when EU funding comes to an end in June 2023.

Tell us about good and bad experiences of UKSPF investment planning in your area by emailing

Procurement bill

The procurement bill was published on 11 May and is currently making its way through Parliament.

Read our recent blog to understand:

  • how the bill could affect charities
  • what we’re doing to influence it
  • how you can get involved.

Community Ownership Fund

The government has launched an updated prospectus for the Community Ownership Fund, which is providing £150m across 2024/25 to help communities take ownership of assets at risk of closure.

You can submit a short expression of interest from 10 June 2022. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application at a time that suits their project.

Further reading

To speak to NCVO’s influencing and engagement team about current challenges or experiences, please contact

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Rebecca Young is a senior policy officer at NCVO, working primarily on public services and volunteering policy. Before joining NCVO, Rebecca led on mental health, housing and disability policy at the National Union of Students.

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