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 - 16 April 2021

Charity shops expect to bounce back with surge in donations –

Charity shops across England and Wales have welcomed back shoppers this week as the sector expects to “bounce back” with a surge of high-quality donated goods.

In advice published this week, membership body the Charity Retail Association said it is anticipating strong trading and high levels of donations as non-essential shops, including charity shops, are permitted to reopen for the first time since lockdown began in January.

Charities report bumper day of sales as locked-down shops reopen –

The British Heart Foundation and Salvation Army rang up their busiest day of sales ever on Monday as their charity shops opened for the first time in nearly four months after the coronavirus lockdown.

The BHF recorded more than £1m in sales, with furniture proving particularly popular, as customers refreshed their homes in advance of being able to welcome visitors again later this year. The Salvation Army said its sales had been double that of a usual Monday and donations had also been high.

Second report calls for more funding for BAME-led charities –

The report on structural inequality in funding, by The Funders For Race Equality Alliance, follows a similar publication from the Baobab Foundation

Free support to help charities recover from Covid-19 pandemic –

Free support is being made available to charities to support their operations as they resume services and fundraising amid Covid-19 recovery.

The support is being made available by the Operational Research Society, which is looking for charities in need of help reopening offices and support and understanding “what the new normal looks like”.

News roundup - 19 March 2021

Charitable trust launches £8m fund for youth charities –

An £8m pot of funding has been made available by a philanthropic trust to help charities ensure services for young people can survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Youth Centre Recovery Fund has been launched by the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust to help charities to run youth centre initiatives during and after the health crisis.

The aim is to mitigate against income losses across the youth charity sector, due to falling financial reserves, public sector funding cuts and social distancing guidelines impacting on services.

Charities fear previous sources of income will not return post-Covid –

Charities are fearful that their previous sources of income will not return as the UK recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to latest research.

Those responding to academics, who are researching the pandemic’s impact on the charity sector, say they are concerned that emergency funding they have been offered over the last year is drying up as will fundraising and other traditional income sources.

Trading and public donations may struggle, “particularly with many expecting an economic recession looming”, according to the research by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and academics at Sheffield Hallam and Nottingham Trent universities.

Spike in charitable legacies expected after deaths hit highest level for more than 100 years –

Charitable bequests are expected to rise by more than one-third this year after the UK recorded its highest number of deaths for more than a century, according to new forecasts.

An updated market forecast by the charity legacy consortium Legacy Foresight includes the latest information for the vaccine rollout, the recent performance of the housing market and the latest evidence on delays across the estate management system.

Legacy income fell by 11 per cent in 2020, but is expected to recover this year, according to the research.

National Lottery Community Fund to offer grants of up to £300,000 to ‘bring people together’ –

The National Lottery Community Fund is launching a new fund that aims to offer grants of up to £300,000 over the next year to support communities across the UK.

The Bringing People Together programme will open to applications on 30 March and will look to hand out 20 grants over the next 12 months for projects that are working across a minimum of two countries in the UK.

News roundup - 12 March 2021

Review of UK fundraising landscape to launch in April –

The THINK Market Trends and Insights Monitor is launching in April 2021.

The Monitor, from THINK Consulting Solutions, is designed to provide a comprehensive review of the UK fundraising landscape, including information about key fundraising market trends, statistics and horizon scanning across six core income streams over 12 months, as well as networking opportunities and access to a digital library. It is aimed at all fundraising practitioners – both senior and those new to the sector.

Millions of pounds in extra funding available to charity shops after lobbying success –

Charity sector bodies have successfully lobbied to increase the amount of funding charity shops can apply for.

The Charity Retail Association and Charity Tax Group had urged ministers to increase the limit on how much funding the shops are able to unlock to mitigate around closures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Increase in online giving as digital fundraising takes the lead –

The digital and contactless fundraising platform DONATE™ registered 5x more in total money donated via the platform vs 2019, with a huge 81% of donations received coming through SMS text.

The platform, which offers a range of digital technologies as a transformative fundraising tool to national, regional and independent charities and charitable organisations, saw a spike in giving over the summer with a 36x increase in total donations from January to July 20. This spanned across text giving, web giving, text raffles, contactless and online auctions.

Trustees want simpler guidance about reporting, survey indicates –

Charity trustees want clearer, simpler guidance about reporting amid concerns that requirements are too long and complicated for those without a background in finance, new research shows.

The membership body The Chartered Governance Institute surveyed 429 trustees toward the end of last year to explore the benefits and constraints of the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice.

National Lottery Covid impact support reaches over £1 billion –

National Lottery funding to support the UK-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded £1 billion according to new figures.

The £1.2 billion awarded has gone towards thousands of initiatives and programmes designed to tackle loneliness and isolation, provide support for the elderly and vulnerable young people, and those promoting physical and mental health in the community.

News roundup - 5 March 2021

Fund worth up to £20m launches to divert young people away from crime –

The funding is being made available by the Youth Endowment Fund which is looking to fund programmes that can keep children out of the criminal justice system.

Mental health support, family support and mentoring are among the programmes the Fund is looking to back.

Lloyds Bank Foundation opens almost £10m unrestricted grant fund –

Charities in England and Wales can apply for unrestricted grants of £50,000 from the Lloyds Bank Foundation.

The foundation said it would award a total of £9.5m this year to 190 small and local charities with annual incomes of between £25,000 and £1m.

The fund is aimed at charities working to tackle one of 11 complex social issues, including homelessness, trafficking and domestic abuse.

The Budget for charities: the key announcements –

Armed Forces charities, Thalidomide support, domestic abuse services, and cultural institutions are among the charity sectors pledged support in yesterday’s Budget.

Confusion about EU state aid rules denying charity retailers access to lockdown grants, bodies warn –

Membership bodies are warning that charity shops are still being denied access to millions of pounds in government lockdown grants because confusion about European Union state aid rules meant they were being wrongly applied.

The Charity Tax Group and the Charity Retail Association said in a statement that the government was continuing to apply rules from last year that the EU had itself amended to be more generous.

News roundup - 26 February 2021

4 funds now offering support to charities –

From funding to help support disadvantaged women and girls, to animal rescue centres, youth unemployment schemes, and Covid impact support work in West Yorks and Harrogate, there are four new funds currently open for applications.

Heritage organisations share more than £18m in government funding –

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that more than 50 heritage and culture organisations are to receive funding in the latest round of allocations of the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

Charities expected to receive share of £23m fund to tackle Covid-19 misinformation –

Charities and community groups are expected to receive a share of £23m in government funding to help boost vaccine take-up and combat Covid-19 misinformation in at-risk communities.

The funding was announced as part of the government’s Covid-19 spring roadmap, which outlined the phased reopening of the economy in England following the latest national lockdown.

Under the Community Champions scheme councils and voluntary organisations will deliver a wide range of measures to protect those most at risk, which aims to build trust and communicate accurate health information.

Charities turn to Charity Digital Code of Practice for support during pandemic –

With the past year seeing a huge surge in digital activity, the Charity Digital Code of Practice site has recorded almost 9,000 users since March 2020, 78% of which have been new to the site.

The Code, which is voluntary and free to access for all charities, has also grown new followers by 242% and increased engagement by 114%.

The Code’s steering group has also heard from a number of charities who have increased their digital confidence in the past months from using its resources.

Two thirds of youth charities facing rising demand despite cuts to their income –

The extent of the financial and service delivery challenges facing youth charities has been revealed.

According to a survey of more than 1,700 youth organisations, two thirds (66%) have seen a rise in demand, while 83% have seen their income dip.

The specific costs of supporting young people since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic has increased too, according to more than half (57%) of those surveyed.

£20m fund to help keep children out of criminal justice system –

The Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) has announced a new fund of up to £20 million, to find out how diversionary programmes can keep children out of the criminal justice system.

Whether through mental health support, whole family interventions or mentoring, the YEF wants to know how offering alternatives to arrest, conviction and custody to children who have offended can sustainably prevent them from becoming involved in violence later in their lives. As well as funding projects, the YEF will invest in evaluation.

MPs back call for £25m community finance boost –

A community finance body is calling for a £25m injection into the sector to help boost the government’s “levelling up” agenda.

Conservative MPs including former leader Iain Duncan Smith, Kevin Hollinrake and Danny Kruger, author of the recent Levelling Up Our Communities report for the Prime Minister, are supporting the proposal for the Spring Budget by the membership body Responsible Finance, which represents the UK’s community development finance institutions.

Responsible Finance is calling on the government to replace EU CDFI funding programmes with a £25m programme and require high street banks to provide the same amount in match funding.

News roundup - 5 February 2021

Reserves essential for bolstering resilience to future shocks –

Despite the challenges, charities need to build up their reserves to help them weather future financial shocks and prevent programme closures and job losses, according to a new report.

The report, by Bond and haysmacintyre, warns that UK NGOs will continue to face a challenging financial future in the years ahead due to the UK’s economic downturn, cuts to the aid budget, and a potential reduction in official development assistance from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%.

A clear majority (85%) of organisations, the report found, state their reserves are a ‘major part of their risk management and financial resilience’. However, it also found that pre-Covid, most UK charities lacked sufficient reserves, with the average level of large charity reserves covering two months of running costs.

Charities struggling to access funding for effective digital services, report warns –

Charities are struggling to secure funding to improve long term digital support services for beneficiaries and are instead relying on quick-fix, poorly tested online options, a report has warned.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a raft of charities pivot support services online, though video conferencing and other technology, as social distancing restrictions make face to face support difficult.

But many charities are struggling to access funding to develop long term ‘digital-first’ support services, which are created with online support in mind from scratch, warns the report.

Four in 10 charities expect to struggle to meet demand as ‘capacity crunch’ bites –

More than four out of 10 charities expect to have difficulty meeting demand for their services over the coming months, according to new research.

A survey conducted among almost 250 charities last month found that 42 per cent said they either expected demand for their services to rise and they would not have the resources to meet it, or that demand would remain the same but their capacity to provide services would be reduced.

News roundup - 29 January 2021

Fast-food chain launches second round of funding for small charities –

More than 25 small charities have received grants of up to £2,000 from the fast food chain KFC.

The award scheme was created by the chain’s charitable arm the KFC Foundation last September and made available to grassroots youth charities and local groups with an annual turnover of less than £300,000.

Half of charities expecting rising demand, research shows –

Half of voluntary sector organisations expect demand for their services to rise as the coronavirus pandemic continues, new figures show.

Research published this week by the Centre of People, Work and Organisational Practice at Nottingham Trent University, the Voluntary Action Research Group at Sheffield Hallam University and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations shows that 50 per cent of the almost 400 organisations polled said they were anticipating demand for their services to go up.

Martin Lewis calls for bailout for charities at risk of collapse due to Covid –

Martin Lewis, the MoneySavingExpert founder who is giving away more than £10m of his fortune, has warned that many charities are at risk of collapse as a result of Covid-19 and has called for an urgent government bailout.

The financial journalist has funded a study into the sector, which faces, according to some estimates, a £10bn black hole in its balance sheet as charity shops remain shut and fundraising events continue to be cancelled.

News roundup - 22 January 2021

Youth charities offered £16m lifeline –

Youth charities in England can apply for up to £2m in government grant funding to help reduce the risk of insolvency as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund is open to grassroots youth clubs, uniformed youth groups, and national youth and umbrella organisations.

It is hoped the grants will reduce the risk of insolvency and reduction in provision of organisations that would ordinarily continue to be financially viable, but have been affected by short-term challenges due to Covid-19.

Staff burnout ‘significant threat’ for around half of charities –

Almost half of charities see staff burnout amid the Covid-19 pandemic as “a significant threat to their operations, a survey has revealed.

Remote working, redundancies and increased demand have taken their toll on the mental health of charity staff, the Charity Risk Barometer by voluntary sector insurer Ecclesiastical has found.

Nine in 10 charity workers have felt stress, overwhelm or burnout over the past year, survey shows –

More than nine out of 10 charity workers say they have felt stress, overwhelm or burnout over the past year, research conducted by Third Sector shows.

The survey of more than 350 charity workers also found that 90 per cent of respondents said they had taken on extra hours or more work during the period.

The survey found that 94.3 per cent, the majority of whom held managerial positions, said they had experienced stress, overwhelm or burnout over the past year.

Pandemic exposes gaps in charities’ digital capabilities, NCVO warns –

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in charities’ digital skills and capabilities, the NCVO’s blueprint report for the coming year has warned.

Digital innovation amid the health crisis, in areas such as online fundraising and service delivery, is set to continue in the long term and charities need to ensure they can adapt to technological change.

The warning has come in the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) annual Road Ahead report for 2021. Each year this looks at the key trends, challenges and opportunities facing the voluntary sector over the next 12 months.

Change to Gift Aid on tickets sold for cancelled charity events made permanent –

A temporary change allowing charities to claim Gift Aid on tickets sold to events that are cancelled if supporters decide against asking for refunds has been made permanent, the Charity Tax Group has said.

In April, HM Revenue & Customs announced a temporary change to the rules as thousands of charities faced having to refund customers due to attend events cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic…

…It is understood that the change was announced at HM Revenue & Customs’ Charity Tax Forum meeting earlier this week, with formal guidance confirming the move due to follow. 

News roundup - 15 January 2021

Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation launch million pound digital development fund –

PAUL Hamlyn Foundation and Comic Relief have together launched a new £1million digital development fund, as part of their joint Tech for Good programme. ‘Build’ will support UK non-profits to strengthen their services.

The Tech for Good programme was originally developed in 2016 in response to the need for charities to use technology to explore different approaches to delivering better services…

… The programme will offer grants of up to £70,000 over a nine-month period from June 2021, alongside access to technical support from experts provided by CAST (Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology).

Providing Youth Sector Activities During COVID-19 Lockdowns –

On the 4th January 2021, the Prime Minister announced plans for a national lockdown in England to address an increase in COVID-19 infections.

The restrictions announced
matches those put in place during the second national lockdown. This means the youth sector can remain partially active within strict adherence to NYA guidance for the RED readiness level.

This paper sets out what is permitted across the youth sector under Red Readiness level.

3 in 10 plan to get more involved in their local community in 2021 –

The pandemic has helped to reignite people’s interest in their local community with three in ten (30%) planning to get more involved in 2021, according to research released today by The National Lottery Community Fund.

The National Lottery Community Fund questioned over 7,000 UK adults for the survey, asking how people are feeling about their community and their ambitions for their local area for the year ahead.

The findings show that across the UK almost seven in ten people (69%) feel like they are part of their local community, with around a third acknowledging that Covid has increased their sense of belonging (35%) and also made it more important for them to feel part of it (33%).

Pandemic boosts public recognition of charities’ community support, says survey –

The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted public support for the work of charities and voluntary groups, a survey has revealed.

The majority (65%) of those surveyed said local groups, charities and volunteers “deserve more recognition” for the work they are carrying out supporting communities amid the health crisis.

In addition, more than a third of people (34%) want to see further support for charities and community projects this year.

News roundup - 8 January 2021

Grants of up to £3m being offered to help charities reopen heritage sites in 2021 –

Heritage charities are being offered grants of between £10,000 and £3m help them reopen historic places and places of cultural interest as England looks to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage: Second Round will look towards Spring and Summer when cultural organisations are expected to be able to operate with fewer restrictions.

£7.5m to be distributed to help tackle winter loneliness –

The Government announced a £7.5 million funding package to help tackle loneliness over the winter period just before Christmas. It builds on the £4m Local Connections Fund, which opens for applications today.

The new funding will be targeted at sectors that bring people and communities together such as the arts, libraries, charities and radio, and will be distributed via three existing schemes:

  • £5 million will go to Arts Council England for arts and library services, of which £3.5 million has been awarded by DCMS to national charity The Reading Agency, for its Reading Well and Reading Friends programmes
  • £2 million will go towards extending the Government’s Loneliness Fund launched in May this year
  • £500,000 will be distributed amongst the Audio Content Fund and the Community Radio Fund

Escalating demand for support ‘going unmet’ as a third of charities continue to furlough staff –

Around a third of charities still have staff on furlough and intend to continue to use the Covid-19 job retention scheme this year.

But the lack of staff amid the pandemic is causing a backlog of unmet demand for support, a survey has found.

Foodbank and children’s charities fear for staff safety due to contagious new Covid-19 strain –

Foodbank charities have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for urgent action to reduce demand for their services amid the latest Covid-19 lockdown.

The Independent Food Aid Network has written to Johnson with an urgent request to reduce the need for emergency food aid during the lastest lockdown…

…The organisation, which represents more than 400 food banks, is concerned that the highly contagious new strain could put its staff, volunteers and beneficiaries at risk as they collect food.

News roundup - 10 December 2020

Revised Charity Governance Code ramps up equality, diversity and inclusion focus –

The Charity Governance Code has been updated to give a greater emphasis to charities’ responsibility to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

The revised code includes a specific EDI principle and has been written following consultation with the charity sector and advice from independent EDI consultant Pari Dhillon.

2020’s probate delays & high death rate expected to bring spike in bequests next year –

A combination of 2020’s high death rate and delays to probate could result in a spike in charitable bequests next year, according to Legacy Foresight’s Legacy Market Outlook 2020-2025 report.

This year, deaths in the UK are potentially at their highest for 100 years, possibly reaching between 687,000 and 695,000. In addition, ongoing administrative delays at probate are impacting bequests received by charities.

National Lottery Community Fund reopens regular funding programmes –

The National Lottery Community Fund has reopened applications for some of its regular funding programmes for England. These are:

  • National Lottery Awards for All
  • Reaching Communities
  • Partnerships

The aim of the programmes is to “support communities to thrive” by funding activities that:

  • Build strong relationships in and across communities.
  • Improve the places and spaces that matter to communities.
  • Help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

Government offers small charities £4m in microgrants to combat loneliness –

Small charities are being urged to apply for a share of £4m in government funding to tackle loneliness.

The Local Connections Fund is open to charities and community groups to combat social isolation, through activities such as book clubs, walking groups and other community projects.

The funding is being handed out through microgrants, worth between £300 and £2.500 each.

News roundup - 19 November 2020

Leadership development programme seeks charity participants for 2021 –

Charity leaders are sought to take part in a free one-year personal and professional development programme.

The Growth Project pairs 10 charity leaders with 10 business leaders and offers eight group learning sessions, as well as regular one-to-one meetings between partners. It aims to bring participants together to share learning, and to provide charity leaders with knowledge and skills to help them drive efficiencies and effectiveness within their charity.

A third of charities have suffered a cyber-attack during the coronavirus pandemic –

A third of charities have suffered a cyber-attack during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest research from Ecclesiastical Insurance.

Phishing attacks, where attackers attempt to obtain sensitive data by pretending to be a trustworthy source, have been the most common threat, affecting one in seven (15%) charities, followed by spear-phishing (7%), malware (5%) and ransomware (3%). One in 20 charities (5%) said they had suffered an accidental data breach during the pandemic.

The findings come after the Charity Commission revealed that fraudsters have stolen over £3.5m from charities during the pandemic. The regulator says it received 645 reports of fraud and cybercrime between March and September.

Gen Z & Millennials could be Christmas’s biggest givers –

Public support for charities is growing while the younger generations could be the most generous this Christmas in terms of giving to charity, research by donations, fundraising and events platform Enthuse has found.

It found that three quarters of Gen Z (74%) and Millennials (76%) are planning on donating to charity during this year’s Christmas period. They could also be the most generous donors over the period, with Millennials stating they’ll give as much as £68, and Gen Z planning to donate up to £59. This compares to an average of £51 for the public as a whole.

News roundup - 12 November 2020

Firms urged to donate cost of cancelled Christmas parties to charity –

A campaign has launched asking firms to donate to charity the cost of staging Christmas office parties, which have been cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Xmas Party Heroes campaign has been launched by property firm Landmark Group and branding agency WilsonCooke.

So far more than £500,000 of pledges have already been received through the campaign.

Marks & Spencer pledges to donate £2m to charities as part of its festive food adverts –

Marks & Spencer has said it will donate £2m to a range of charities as part of its celebrity Christmas advertising campaign.

The retailer’s food division will release nine ads over the festive season – one a week, each featuring a voiceover by a well-known actor.

Each actor will select a group of charities that are close to their heart for the retailer to donate to.

The celebrity line-up includes Dame Julie Walters, Jeremy Irons, Dame Helen Mirren and Tom Hardy.

Many English and Welsh charities had low levels of financial reserves on eve of pandemic –

More than a fifth of charities in England and Wales had less than one month expenditure in reserve at the beginning of the pandemic.

Financial data from 12,700 charities for the years ending in 2018 and 2019 was analysed by a team of researchers from the University of Southampton and University of Birmingham.

The study found that around 10% of charities had only a few days’ reserves or less.

Charity supporters stick by causes they care about –

Charity supporters are sticking by the causes they care about through the coronavirus crisis.

The cancellations rate for Direct Debit donations to UK charities fell to its lowest ever levels between May and September this year, a new report from Rapidata has revealed. The cancellations rate was consistently under 2% over this five-month mid-pandemic period, with a record low of 1.32% in July compared to 2.45% in July 2019.

News roundup - 5 November 2020

Regulator’s new “5-minute guides” will support charity trustees to meet duties –

The Charity Commission, the charity regulator for England and Wales, has launched a new set of simple, easy to understand guides, designed to help trustees run their charities in line with the law.

The new guides cover five key aspects of charity management – a ‘core syllabus’ covering the basics that the regulator expects all trustees to be aware of.

Charities invited to apply for new round of UK Aid Match –

A new round of UK Aid Match is now open for applications from charities.

UK Aid Match is backed by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and matches public donations to charity appeals up to a maximum of £2 million each over a three-month period.

The FCDO has just launched the latest round of the scheme and is inviting applications for charities until 5pm on 18 December 2020.

Charity shops will lose £28m a month during second lockdown, Charity Retail Association warns –

The second national lockdown in England will cost the sector at least £28m in lost shop revenue, the Charity Retail Association has warned. 

From Thursday, all non-essential shops, including charity shops, in England will be required to close until 2 December in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Complaints to Fundraising Regulator rise 13% –

The Fundraising Regulator received 836 complaints – issues unresolvable by the charity involved – in 2019/20, up 13% on the previous year.

According to the Regulator’s fourth annual complaints report, published yesterday, the most complained about methods of fundraising in 2019/20 were charity bags (22%), online fundraising (11%) and face-to-face fundraising (11%).

The regulator received 131 complaints about unwanted charity bags, which also featured as a top complaint in the previous two years.

News roundup - 29 October 2020

Free online Brexit tool available to support charities

A free online audit tool has been developed to help charities assess their readiness for Brexit and highlight areas where action may be needed.

The digital tool has been developed by lawyers Stone King to assist charities that employ EU nationals or rely on the movement of people from outside the UK.

It also looks at supporting charities around sponsorship responsibilities.

Questions it asks include how many EU nationals are employed, whether the charity has any premises within the EU and how likely staff are to travel within Europe.

Full story:

Covid-19 crisis could force one in 10 charities to close within a year, research warns

The devastating financial impact of coronavirus has left nearly 40 per cent of charities and community groups in a worsening financial situation, with two in five organisations reporting that their financial position had deteriorated in the past month, according to new research.

Eight out of 10 organisations predict the crisis will negatively impact their ability to deliver planned objectives over the next 12 months, according to the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer. One in 10 believe they will be forced to close within a year.

Full story:

£1.4m available for charities through new Increasing Access Fund

The Peter Sowerby Foundation has issued an open call for applications to its new £1.4 million Increasing Access Fund.

The Increasing Access Fund specifically aims to ensure or increase access to key services and activities for beneficiaries who have struggled with this due to the pandemic: for example, because of lockdown measures or the fact that existing charitable services are unable to be delivered in a Covid-secure way.

Full story:

A fifth of charities will not be able to deliver adequate services at Christmas, survey warns

Nearly one-fifth of charities don’t think they will be able to adequately deliver their services over Christmas as the sector continues to feel the pinch of the pandemic, a new survey warns.

The latest Covid-19 Charity Tracker Survey by third sector think tank Pro Bono Economics found that while 44 per cent of charities consider the festive season an important period for their annual income, a quarter expect Christmas donations to fall by more than 25 per cent this year.

And while 59 per cent of the charities surveyed by the think tank said it was likely they would be able to deliver their services adequately over the Christmas period, 19 per cent said this would be unlikely.

Full story:

News roundup - 8 October 2020

£400m in lottery funding donated to UK communities since start of COVID-19 crisis

NEW figures out this week reveal that over £400 million has gone to communities across the UK since lockdown, thanks to National Lottery players. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, players have continued to support The National Lottery, enabling many millions in much-needed funding to continue to flow to amazing local projects and good causes.

The money, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has been used by communities to help tackle local problems caused by the pandemic, as well as to continue longer-standing projects designed to improve lives and help people thrive.

Full story:

Charities might have had data stolen in ransomware attack, Blackbaud indicates

The software provider at the centre of a ransomware attack that affected dozens of charities earlier in the summer has admitted that some financial information might have been stolen.

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

It is not clear how many charities might have been affected.

After Blackbaud was hacked in May, several charities came forward to admit they had been caught up in the cyber attack.

The Charity Commision later confirmed that at least 30 UK charities had been affected.

Full story:

Eight out of ten charities ‘finding new ways’ to pivot services online

Eight out of ten charities have found new uses of technology as they look to adapt to the ‘new normal’ amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A survey of more than 100 charities and social enterprises by the Charity Bank found that 80% have found new uses for technology and around half (46%) have moved services online.

In addition, around half (54%) have refocused their activities, as many reveal they have been forced to scale back the services they offer.

Almost six out of ten (58%) have seen their income fall and 49% says they have been unable to deliver services, a similar proportion (52%) have been forced to delay projects and six out of ten have had to temporarily close services.

Full story:

News roundup - 1 October 2020

People’s Postcode Lottery launches £3 million Postcode Recovery Fund

Funding is available for charities with ideas to help communities across Britain recover from problems highlighted or exacerbated by the pandemic from the new £3 million Postcode Recovery Fund.

Charities can apply for between £500,000 and £1 million in funding. Priority areas for support include educational inequalities, homelessness, domestic violence, health and wellbeing, poverty, social exclusion and isolation. Applications where there are other clear benefits to the community will also be considered.

Full story:

NCVO urges charities to do more to encourage ‘family volunteering’

Charities are being urged by the NCVO to improve their promotion of volunteering as a family activity.

Research by the NCVO details how family influences the way people giving their time to good causes. This can be through working together for the same charity, or when volunteers encourage their relatives to work for free for a charity.

However, the charity body warns that this form of volunteering is at risk of falling unless charities develop more robust opportunities for family members to give up their time for charities.

Full story:

PM urged to ensure smaller charities do not suffer after closure of Public Health England

The head of a medical support charity has written to the Prime Minister urging him to ensure that smaller charity partnerships are not lost when Public Health England is axed.

The letter from John James, chief executive of the Sickle Cell Society, follows previous concerns raised by the leaders of more than 70 health organisations, who warned that the abolition of PHE would damage the fight against obesity, smoking and alcohol misuse.

Full story:

Charities plan further job cuts

Charities face a gloomy winter, new research has claimed.

As new restrictions are announced by government in preparation for a second wave of Covid-19, over half of charities warn demand for their services may outstrip their ability to deliver – suggesting many people will be left without access to vital services they came to rely on during the previous lockdown.

Full story:

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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