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Freedom from the pursuits of profits

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October 8, 2014 at 13:04

Last year I started writing a column for Third Sector magazine. My brief was to make finance more interesting and exciting. Now, whether I’ve succeeded to that end others will judge. But I think that as finance is actually interesting (and I might even go as far as exciting!), my job shouldn’t be that hard. Good financial management is the lifeblood of any successful organisation, whatever the sector. It’s perhaps even more of an imperative for charities; not because the bottom line is the driver but because it is not. Consequently, I think charity finances are so much more engaging [...]

What happened to the red tape cull?

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September 5, 2014 at 09:43

Caron Bradshaw Once upon a time, an energetic new government was elected. It proclaimed a new age of a smaller state and a bigger society. A world in which civil action would be released from burden, and stupid, unnecessary measures wielded by over-zealous bureaucrats would be a thing of the past. We waited to see what this brave new world would look like, and whether the rhetoric would be matched with action. Certainly, in the early days, things had a real flavour of change. Do you remember the raft of conversations, debates, inquiries and consultations that focused on cutting red [...]

Trustees’ Week- find out how you can get involved

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August 27, 2014 at 17:17

With the launch of #onemilliontrustees video competition; Trustees’ Week 2014 (taking place on 10-16 November), is firmly on our radar.   What is Trustees’ Week?   Now in its fifth year, Trustees’ Week is a nationwide campaign organised by the Charity Commission and partner organisations, to celebrate all the wonderful things that trustees do for charities. TW 2014 is to be officially launched at the NCVO Trustee Conference on 10 November.   The theme for this year’s campaign is based around ‘development’ and ‘governance’, close to CFG’s heart. Development is about how taking on a trusteeship can play an essential [...]

Inspiring financial leadership

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August 7, 2014 at 16:38

By Mike Saxton - Head of Finance Africa Governance Initiative When people in our organisations think about the finance team, inspiring and leadership aren’t necessarily the first words that come to mind. However, I think the FD role specifically, and other financial management roles too, can and should offer our organisations inspiring leadership.   I recently completed a course run by CFG by this name, and it was really valuable. The course itself covers areas such as strategy, change management, coaching and perhaps most interestingly innovation.   My ACA qualification (a number of years ago now) gave me solid technical financial expertise. [...]

Tackling the looming pensions crisis

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August 6, 2014 at 15:25

Charity Commission Chair William Shawcross recently said that the “deadliest threat” to the sector comes from Islamic extremism. I, however, disagree. I would suggest that the biggest threat the sector faces comes from pensions. Without being too hysterical, there is a pensions crisis looming in the sector. But I am not actually talking about the very real funding and compliance problems each individual charity can face. I’m referring to the public’s reaction to charities having to use charitable funds to deal with these problems. It is therefore essential that as a sector we understand the full extent of the challenges [...]

Are charities losing their voice?

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July 24, 2014 at 18:52

  The campaigning role of charities has stayed firmly in the public spotlight for the last twelve months and appears to be gaining traction as we head towards the General Election. It first raised eyebrows last year when the sector expressed significant concerns about the then coined ‘Gagging Bill’ – now Lobbying Act. Calls came from the Public Administration Select Committee for charities to declare their campaigning spend on their Annual Return (a recent Charity Commission consultation), various noises have been made about whether charities in receipt of public funds should campaign at all and most recently, there have been [...]

CFG is changing its objects to broaden its reach

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July 8, 2014 at 14:21

Back in May I mentioned in a previous post that CFG was in the process of amending our memorandum and articles of association and changing our objects in order to ensure that we are fit for the future and able to adapt to a changing environment. I am now going to tell you all about the changes we are proposing. I can quickly skate over the memorandum and articles of association. Changes there are to tidy the administrative bits of what we do and to tighten up some language to reflect how we operate. Nothing earth shattering but a good [...]

Pension Protection Levy Consultation

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June 9, 2014 at 16:51

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) was set up in 2005 to guarantee a proportion of the retirement income of Defined Benefit (DB) Scheme members under the event of insolvency of their sponsoring employer(s). The fund is sustained by an annual levy applicable to all schemes eligible for protection under the PPF. This levy is determined by a combination of scheme specific and risk based factors. The PPF is consulting on plans for the pension protection levy over the next three years due to a number of factors: The PPF have developed a wealth of insolvency experience over the last nine [...]

Transparency: Finding the right balance

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June 6, 2014 at 16:31

I am currently enjoying the warm glow of the success of our Annual Conference. The CFG team pulled off an absolute blinder in my view. Not only did we have the largest number of bookings to date (over 700), but also the quality of the speakers, the delivery of the day and atmosphere were just superb! In particular, it is worth mentioning the closing plenary. There’s no doubt it could have gone on longer, but to have the Minister (Nick Hurd) and Shadow Minister (Lisa Nandy) for Civil Society, a key Lib Dem peer (Baroness Barker), the Chair of the [...]

Vision for sector post-2015. What did the politicians have to say at the CFG Annual Conferece?

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May 19, 2014 at 17:13

Following our overwhelmingly successful Annual Conference last Thursday, back at CFG-HQ we are now digesting the political nuggets that were debated in our closing plenary by the Minister for Civil Society (Nick Hurd) and Shadow Minister (Lisa Nandy) for Civil society, a key Lib Dem peer (Baroness Barker), the outspoken Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and the CEO of NCVO, Sir Stuart Etherington. A year out from the next General Election, we asked them to tell us what they saw as the key issues that will face the sector post-2015, giving us the perfect insight [...]