News roundup – Latest news for charities and voluntary organisations

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Charities news roundup

Stay up to date with all the latest news from the charity and voluntary sector with our weekly roundup.

News roundup - 24 September 2020

Proportion of people giving to charity reaches lowest level in at least 10 years

The proportion of people who say they made a recent charity donation has fallen to its lowest level in at least 10 years, new figures show.

Data from the research consultancy nfpSynergy, published today, show that the proportion of people who said in August that they had given to charity in the previous three months had fallen to 54 per cent, down from 69 per cent in January.

The previous low recorded by nfpSynergy, since it began tracking the figures in the current way 10 years ago, was 63 per cent in 2011.

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Charity shop sales boosted by public donations surge, research reveals

Charity shop sales improve markedly over the summer following a surge in donations of stock from the public, research has found.

A study of charity retail over the summer has found that sales are still down on last year but improved dramatically between July and August.

This follows a rise in public donations to charities to support their retail operations, which were able to reopen from June after shutting their doors during Covid-19 lockdown closures.

The figures show that like for like sales were down -44.7% in July. But by August this decrease had improved to -28.6%.

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£25m fund to support the arts

A multi-million pound fund has been created to help cultural institutions survive Covid-19.

The Weston Culture Fund is a one-off fund to support performing and visual arts from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

The Weston family has launched the new £25m fund to support the cultural sector as it attempts to recover following the impact of the coronavirus. Museums, performing and visual arts organisations across the UK can apply from Monday 5 October and the fund will remain open to applications until 9 November.

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Payroll giving rose during lockdown

Figures from The Association of Payroll Giving Organisations (APGO) reveal that during the ‘lockdown’ quarter (April to June 2020) Payroll Giving donations rose by 9.8% or £2.9 million compared to the same quarter last year.

In addition, employers increased the amount they match employee Payroll Giving donations by £150,000 to £1.8m, an increase of 9.2% compared to the previous year.

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News roundup - 17 September 2020

Legacy gifting rose sharply amid Covid-19 lockdown, says wills provider

Charitable donations in wills have increased by 81% during Covid-19 lockdown, according to latest figures from Co-op legal services.

The legal services provider says that over the last year charitable donations in wills have increased by 56%, with the sharpest rise during lockdown.

Between 23 March and 30 June Co-op Legal Services recorded an 81% rise in legacy gifting, compared with the same period last year.

Gifts to cancer charities continue to the be most common legacies. These have also increased markedly, by 77% during lockdown.

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Just one in five charities fully comply with rules on fundraising reporting

Just one in five charities (21%) include all the required information about fundraising in their annual reports, research from the Fundraising Regulator has found.

The law requires charities with more than £1m income to include a statement on fundraising in their annual report, giving details on six aspects of their approach to fundraising.

The regulator analysed 187 annual reports from levy-paying charities. The sample represents 10% of all organisations paying the Fundraising Regulator’s levy and covers a range of charities of different sizes.

It found that while 81% of charities did include a fundraising statement in their annual reports, only 21% provided all the required information.

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National Lottery Heritage Fund offers £40m in environmental grants to charities

Charities are being urged to apply for £40m in funding to ‘kick-start the nation’s green recovery’ from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is being distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) on behalf of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It is open to charities and partnerships that include at least one environmental charity with projects that are ready to start.

Grants of between £50,000 and £5m are being made available for projects involving nature conservation and restoration, tackling the impact of climate change or connecting people with nature.

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Charities in deprived areas most at risk from the pandemic, report concludes

Charities and voluntary organisations in deprived parts of the north of England are most at risk from the economic effects of Covid-19, a new report warns.

The findings, published this week by the think tank IPPR North and the University of Durham, take into account the experiences of charities, community and voluntary organisations in the region over the past decade, including how they fared following the 2008 recession.

The report, Third Sector Trends Study 2020: Covid-19 and Potential Impacts for the Third Sector in the North, says that while the sector is “more resilient than generally thought”, one in four charities in the north are based in deprived areas.

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News roundup - 10 September 2020

KFC Foundation invites grant applications from local charities supporting young people

The KFC Foundation has launched its first public call for applications for funding from local, grassroots organisations that are empowering young people in the UK.

The foundation supports grassroots organisations “in the heart of KFC restaurant communities”. In particular it supports “organisations which empower young people to fulfil their potential and build a positive future by providing spaces that allow young people to feel safe and secure, helping them to unlock talent, build life skills, provide mentoring and improve their chances to gain meaningful employment.”

It is offering grants of between £200 and £2,000 each. Applications close on 25 September 2020.

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HMRC confirms digital advertising VAT relief for charities

The slashing of costs incurred by charities to promote themselves online have been confirmed by HMRC.

This follows a campaign by the Charity Tax Group (CTG) for digital advertising to be exempt for VAT as the costs advertising agencies were incurring were being passed onto charities.

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New fundraising approaches needed to tackle fall in household giving, report warns

New fundraising approaches will be needed to replace some high street-based fundraising as household giving could fall by up to 25 per cent in 2020/21, new research has concluded.

There will be “major losses” in fundraised income in the near future, according to the report Reframing the Ask: Trends Which Will Shape Giving and Fundraising Post-Covid-19, commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

The report’s authors – Cathy Pharoah, visiting professor at the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at Cass Business School, and Tom McKenzie, an honorary research fellow at the University of Dundee – say there is so little certainty in the current environment that outcomes for fundraising cannot be predicted.

Applying the current lowest and highest Treasury forecasts for economic growth for 2020/21 to the estimated £8.4bn households gave in 2019/20 suggests there could be a fall of up to 25 per cent in giving this year, the report says.

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Benchmarking test shows charity marketers lagging behind on digital skills

The digital marketing competencies of marketers in the charity sector lag behind those in the private sector, with usability, content marketing and SEO techniques amongst the most lacking skills, new research reveals.

Training body Target Internet carried out a benchmarking test of the digital marketing skills of almost 9,000 marketing professionals, including just over 500 marketers working in the charity sector in 2018, and repeated in 2020.

Its findings, published in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), shows that the charity sector scored below average in 10 out of 12 core digital marketing competencies, and when comparing skill sets across professions, the sector was also behind industries in the private sector.

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News roundup - 3 September 2020

Regulator launches new online charity register to provide more information to public

The Charity Commission has launched a new online charity register to allow the public to have greater insight into how charities are run.

The regulator said the new and improved public register ‘widens the public’s window’ into how third sector organisations are managed by making more information about individual charities available to donors and the public.

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Charities with inactive funds called to join Revitalising Trusts programme

The Charity Commission is calling for charities with inactive funds to join its Revitalising Trusts programme.

Since its launch in 2018 the programme has ‘revitalised’ £32 million from charities that have either had no income or expenditure over the last 5 years or have spent less than 30% of their total income over the last 5 years to help good causes. It has recently secured funding from DCMS until 2021 and is seeking to reach more inactive charities and trusts in the year ahead.

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Warning of rise in child protection referrals as English schools reopen

Labour and a leading children’s charity have warned about a likely jump in referrals to child social services and family courts as schools return this week, calling on the government to commit extra resources to help.

Keir Starmer has also called for the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, to address parliament on the return of school pupils in England and Wales.

The Children’s Society has said it expects referrals to children’s services to rise in the coming weeks, with schools playing a pivotal role in spotting neglect and abuse.

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Morrisons Foundation invites charities to apply for funding boost

The Morrisons Foundation is encouraging charities to apply for funding, with grants of up to £25,000 available for projects to help local communities.

The Morrisons Foundation is now celebrating its fifth anniversary, and has supported more than 2,500 charities since launch, donating £30million to date.

Crisis, RBLI, Hope for Justice, Shelter Scotland, Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and The National Literacy Trust are among those to have received support.

It is now encouraging more local charities to apply. While up to £25,000 is available, the emphasis is on smaller amounts to enable it to support more charities.

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News roundup - 27 August 2020

Government opens £3.3m fund to support babies from deprived backgrounds

The Department of Health and Social Care-backed scheme offers grants of between £200,000 and £510,000 over the next three years.

The Health and Wellbeing Fund, set up by the Department of Health and Social Care, is designed to help community projects improve learning and development, perinatal mental health and prevent obesity.

The fund is also open to applications from charity-run projects aimed at reducing the percentage of babies born with low birthweight, increasing the take-up of breastfeeding, increasing the number of smoke-free homes, improving learning, speech and language development, improving immunisation rates and reducing rates of preventable disease.

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£30,000 grants available to infrastructure charities from Lloyds Bank Foundation

Lloyds Bank Foundation has opened an Infrastructure Fund offering grants of £30,000 for local and regional infrastructure organisations.

This is a one-off fund aimed at providing funding for core costs to local and regional infrastructure organisations as part of Lloyds Bank Foundation‘s response to Covid-19, and launched ‘in recognition of both the vital role of infrastructure and the impact they’re seeing on their own finances and ways of working during the crisis’. A total of £480,000 is available and the Foundation anticipates making 16 grants of £30,000 each. Grants can be used over 1-2 years.

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Donor focused fundraisers need to take on board “white saviourism” concerns, says think tank

Fundraisers need to take on board criticism to ensure they can “reinvent” their profession and ensure they are being “ethically conscious of the needs of all stakeholders”, a charity think tank is arguing.

The discussion has been raised in a research paper by think tank Rogare, called The donor-centered baby and the community centric bathwater.

The paper looks at the potential conflict within the fundraising profession between traditional donor-centered fundraising and emerging community centric fundraising (CCF).

While donor-centered fundraising aims to inspire donors by making them feel good about their giving, community centric fundraising looks at whole community fundraising, not just individual organisations with a focus on interdependence and equity.

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Financial tool launches to help charities impacted by Covid-19 income losses

An online tool has been launched to help charities assess whether they are facing financial difficulties.

The Crisis Decision Tool has been created by law firm Bates Wells to help charities assess their financial situation. It also aims to signpost options to improve the charities’ financial situtation, such as income generation, merger, collaboration, cost-saving measures and more.

The tool comes as charities are increasingly struggling to keep services running amid income losses associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes loss of revenue through shop closures and cancelling fundraising events during lockdown.

The tool includes questions around payment of debts, cash flow forecast and ability to use reserves.

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News roundup - 13 August 2020

BAME-focused Phoenix Fund opens for applications

The National Lottery Community Fund and Global Fund for Children have opened the Phoenix Fund for applications.

This new initiative will provide £1 million in emergency grants to BAME community groups and will support BAME leadership across England.

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Charity Retail Association publishes plan to dismantle racism in charity retail

The Charity Retail Association has published a plan to help dismantle racism in charity retail.

Its new action plan aims to help address inequalities within the sector and to ensure BAME voices are ‘truly heard and valued’.

The plan includes a review of all the internal policies and procedures to ensure it improves diversity and inclusion and will include a review of the current recruitment process.

Equality training for all staff and board members is a high priority in the plan, as is obtaining consultancy support, the retail body said.

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New funding has been announced for organisations that support people with choices over their social care

Organisations that support people with choices over their social care have received a funding boost.

Funding for 31 third sector projects in social care has been extended to March 2022 with the announcement of an additional £2.9 million of Scottish Government backing.

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Charity shops more important for society than ever following Covid-19

Almost a third of people, 29%, think charity shops are more important than ever following the Covid-19 crisis, research conducted for British Heart Foundation has found.

Younger people in particular say they are more likely to use charity shops after the pandemic than before, at almost a fifth (19%) of respondents aged 25-34 compared to 6% of those aged 55+.

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News roundup - 6 August 2020

Government to survey charities about cyber security

Charities are to be surveyed about cyber crime by the government over the next three months to help ministers better understand how organisations are tackling online criminals.

The government is to carry out its third survey of charities, business and public sector organisations to better understand the UK’s cyber security labour market.

This will look at how charities and other organisations are approaching the employment and training of cyber security professionals as well as the online threats they face

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Almost two thirds of charities report rise in working from home cybercrime threats

Around two thirds of charities have seen an increase in cybercrime threats while staff have been working from home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a survey of more than 2,000 organisations across a raft of sectors, 62% of charities have seen an increase in cybercrime threats during lockdown.

The charity sector is the fourth most at risk sector, with only computing and IT, medical and health, and accountancy, banking and finance, reporting bigger increases amid their ramping up of home working.

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Public shows unprecedented support for charities

Struggling charities are being bolstered by an outpouring of public support with one in five people giving to good causes in the last three months.

Despite huge job losses and an economic downturn, research by YouGov shows donors are giving more than before to help causes they care for.

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Recovery grants of up to £3m available for heritage organisations

Heritage organisations can now apply for grants of up to £3m to help them recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Applications are now open for the £92m Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage that will be distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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Grants from £500 to £20,000 available for local good causes

Grants of between £500 and £20,000 are available for local charities and good causes, due to a boost in funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Applications are open until Wednesday 19 August and organisations can apply to one of four trusts, depending on the aim of their project,

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Barely a quarter of charities’ coronavirus fund for England allocated

Barely a quarter of a £200m emergency coronavirus fund for small charities in England has been allocated, and still less paid out, even though Rishi Sunak promised money would be distributed “at pace” when he announced the fund in early April.

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News roundup - 30 July 2020

More than 30 UK charities affected by Blackbaud cyber attack

The Charity Commission has confirmed that more than 30 UK charities have been affected by the Blackbaud ransomware attack.

The regulator said it had recieved 33 serious incident reports in relation to the attack after data was stolen when hackers targeted the US-based software provider.

Blackbaud is one of the largest providers of fundraising, financial management, and supporter management software to the UK charity sector.

The firm said it had notified affected clients about an incident where a cybercriminal accessed some clients’ data, and that it paid the ransom to ensure that data would not be made publicly available or shared elsewhere.

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UK Minister welcomes new lottery limits which ‘mean more money is raised for deserving charities’

Further to legislation passed in March, the charity lottery annual sales limit today increases to £50 million, allowing charity lotteries to raise more for good causes, reduce administration costs and cut bureaucracy.

The new limit replaces the outdated £10 million limit which had been in place since 2005. The change in the law was backed by Parliamentarians across the political spectrum and by many charities across the country.

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Charities urged to give views on business rate reform

The terms of reference for a review of business rates had been promised in March and now charities and other organisations are being asked for views on how the system works, issues that need to be addressed and alternative taxation.

Among factors for the review, which will report in autumn, are to reduce the burden on businesses.

Of specific interest to charities is the future of charitable rate relief. Currently 80% is available to properties occupied by charities for charitable purposes.

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About BHIB Charities Insurance

BHIB Charities Insurance specialise in providing tailored cover for community groups, clubs, societies, voluntary organisations and hobby or special interest groups. We offer more than just insurance and we are passionate about supporting local communities.

To find out how we can help your charity or not-for-profit organisation, email us on or call 0330 013 0036 to speak to our friendly, expert team.

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Luke Glassford

Luke Glassford

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