What we know about Britain’s largest charities

The NCVO research team has been taking a closer look at our largest charities with income over £100m. The report shows that these charities often have more in common with their smaller counterparts than is sometimes assumed. Like other charities, they receive the greatest proportion of their income from individuals and spend a similar proportion on charitable activities. Our largest charities also account for a third of the sector’s spending on grants.


New probate fees and the impact on gifts in wills

The government has announced plans to introduce a new, banded structure for probate fees on the value of estates. Along the Institute of Fundraising and ACEVO, we recently wrote to the Ministry of Justice raising concerns that the proposed rise from a flat rate of £215 (£155 if the grant is obtained by a solicitor) to a maximum of £6,000 could lead to a reduction in the value of charitable gifts. The Institute of Legacy Management predicts this could cost the sector £10m a year.

In a piece for Civil Society, Rob Cope of Remember a Charity has highlighted how rising probate costs could prove to be an opportunity for the sector.

New code of conduct for grant recipients

The government has published a new code of conduct outlining the standards and behaviours expected of recipients of government funding. The guidance, which sits alongside a code of conduct for suppliers, includes welcome statements about the duty of grant recipients to speak out:

  • when government officials, civil servants or other grant recipients are not upholding the values embedded in the code or the Civil Service Code
  • without fear of consequences, when a grant funded project or activity is unlikely to succeed because of government behaviour or a lack of good governance, or when a grant is no longer fit for purpose.

The code also strengthens safeguarding standards by requiring grant recipients to ensure that staff and volunteers ‘understand the boundaries of appropriate behaviour.’

Business rates retail discount scheme

In October’s budget, the government announced that it would provide a business rates retail discount scheme for retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000. The value of discount will be one third of the bill and must be applied after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs. Charity Tax Group have produced a helpful guide about eligibility for charities, including the need to consider state aid rules.


Consultation on UK shared prosperity fund

As the year comes to an end, it’s looking less likely that the government’s consultation on the UK shared prosperity fund (which will replace EU funding post-Brexit) will be launched this side of Christmas. The good news is that this gives us more time to prepare for making a strong case for replacing European social fund (ESF) funding post-Brexit. To do this, we need case studiesdata and research that highlights how services delivered by charities have had a positive impact on:

  • the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged groups
  • the economic agenda, eg by reducing strain on Jobcentre Plus and other services
  • the employability of those furthest from employment opportunities.

or demonstrate:

  • multi-agency and/or multi-sector partnerships
  • effective innovation
  • the value of either long-term and short-term funding.

If you’re able help, please get in touch with James Loan-Clarke.

What NCVO thinks about a new draft Code of Fundraising Practice

The Fundraising Regulator (FR) has been consulting on a new Code of Fundraising Practice. Overall, we think the new draft should help make things easier for charities with the burden of compliance reduced. We also think it’s important give fundraisers enough time to adjust before moving to the new code. Douglas provides more details about our response in his blog.

Report on public fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising has published a new report Achieving excellence in public fundraising. It shows that in 2017/18 alone, 864,500 people from across the UK made the decision to donate after speaking to a public fundraiser face to face or over the phone. The report also highlights a year-on-year improvement in fundraising standards through the IoF’s mystery shopping programme while almost two thirds of councils have reported fewer complaints since site management agreements have been put in place.


Report on public fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising has published a new report – ‘Achieving excellence in public fundraising’ for 2017/18. It shows that 406,000 supporters signed up to monthly credit or debit card donations for causes they care about.

Big Issue to trial card readers after steep decline in carrying cash

Big Issue has decided to trial debit card readers with some of its vendors. The trial is a reaction to fewer people carrying cash. It follows research by Barclaycard showing that 15% of people claimed to have walked away from a chance to give because they were unable to use their debit or credit card. They estimate that charities may be missing out on more than £80m in donations each year by only accepting cash donations.

Image of hands operating a PDQ credit card reader

Local Charities Day – Friday 14 December

Local Charities Day is an initiative from the Office of Civil Society. You can get involved by adding your charity’s details to an interactive map asking people to #PledgeYourTime to a local charity. You can also nominate a Local Charities Champion, add the #LocalCharitiesDay Twibbon to your social media channels, and download a digital toolkitto help spread the word.

We’ll be promoting our knowledge bank on funding and managing volunteers and will unlock the following member-only content for the day:

As a member, you can access these popular resources at any time – just sign in (or register) on our Knowhow website.

Update from Funding Central

Check out the Veolia Environmental Trust grants this month on Funding Central. They cover four themes: community buildings and rooms, outdoor spaces, play and recreation and biodiversity projects. The grants range from £10,000 to £75,000 so could be great for loads of different organisations. We’ve got all info on Funding Central including a link to Veolia’s postcode finder, which will help you to find out if the location of your project is eligible for a grant.

You can search for thousands of other funding opportunities through our funding search. Such as the Greggs Foundation for local community projects. This fund has grants of up to £2000 and is aimed at local organisations with an income below £300,000. You can look at our information now with a Funding Central subscription or we’ll have it available to see without a subscription on Friday 14 December for Local Charities Day.

The Institute for Voluntary Action Research and Esmee Fairbairn have published a report developed by key grant-making trusts and foundations that looks at ways that grant reporting can be improved. They have developed six principles that a group of funders will be testing in 2019, which aim to make grant reporting more helpful, meaningful and mutually beneficial for organisations and funders.

You can find the full news story in our Funding Central news section where you’ll also find loads of other funding news; upcoming funding opportunities and funding deadlines each day.

SOURCE: NCVO