Charity Incorporated Organisations
From the 1st January 2018, charitable companies can use a simple process to change to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Currently open to charities with income of under £12.5k, the process will become available to all charities charities from 1 August 2018. The main advantage of CIOs over charitable companies is that CIOs don’t have to register with and send accounts to Companies House as well as the Charity Commission.
With headlines about both the Presidents Club and Oxfam over the quarter, safeguarding has been a topic of focus. The Charity Commission hosted a ‘safeguarding summit’ in early March and pointed charities towards their alert issued in December 2017. This recommended that safeguarding policies are reviewed, and that the Charity Commission are informed of any issues, incidents, complaints or allegations that have not been previously been disclosed.
Civil Society Strategy Consultation
The Minister for Civil Society, Tracy Crouch, has launched a 12 week consultation on the government’s new ‘civil society strategy’. This is your opportunity to have a say on how government interacts with the sector.
Charity Commission Chair
Baroness Tina Stowell was appointed as the new Chair of the Charity Commission from 26th February 2018. The appointment was rejected by MPs on the Digital, Media and Sport committee in February citing concerns over her experience and impartiality; she is a Conservative peer. Julia Unwin, who was an independent member of the appointments panel, described Baroness Stowell as “the outstanding candidate on the day”, after MPs and sector leaders criticised the process.
Extra funding for the Charity Commission
The government announced additional funding for the Charity Commission to help it respond to significant increases in demand on its core regulatory functions, including registration and compliance. £5m per year has been awarded as an interim solution, while the Commission considers longer term, more sustainable funding models. this includes whether the largest charities should make a modest contribution to the Commission’s enabling work. A consultation is expected later this year.
The government published its response to the Independent Dormant Assets Commission; announcing that up to £330m from dormant bank and building society accounts will be used to help the homeless, disadvantaged young people, local charities and other good causes in the UK over the next four years.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
As the GDPR deadline approaches (25th May), a number of resources for charities have been published.
The Fundraising Regulator has worked with the Institute of Fundraising to produce 6 briefings on GDPR. These “bitesize” guides are designed to be as accessible and as relevant as possible for charities that fundraise https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/information-registration-for-fundraisers/guidance/gdpr-charitable-fundraising-guidance-briefings/
The Association of Charitable Foundations have also published guidance for their members
Charities value unrestricted funds twice as much as restricted
Research by nfpSynergy illustrates how valuable unrestricted fund income is to charities.