Flipping the coin: What Government could do to increase demand for social investment in charities

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September 10, 2013 at 12:46

Last week we responded to the consultation on a tax relief for social investment last week – the Government’s latest initiative to increase the supply of investment. As well as raising a number of concerns with various aspects of the relief, we also included some ideas for how the Government could stimulate greater demand for social investment, by more effectively engaging charities in their efforts. Here’s what we put forward: Positioning is key: First and foremost, we urged the Government to see social investment not as a solution to the charity sector’s funding challenges, but instead to recognise that it […]

CFG’s response to the social investment tax relief consultation: acceleration of “a great force for social change on our planet” or a missed opportunity?

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September 5, 2013 at 09:30

Why the social investment tax relief is potentially good news for charities… With the usual caveat firmly in place, that social investment is never likely to be appropriate for all (probably most) of the organisations in our sector, the concept of a tax relief for investment into social enterprises sounds great – five easy steps to a win-win-win situation: Step 1: As a keen supporter of charities I hear about social investment, and decide to discuss it with my financial advisor. Step 2: They tell me they don’t know much about social investment, but the limited options available seem quite […]

It takes two to tango with the social investment tax relief

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July 10, 2013 at 12:26

With social investment recently hailed by the prime minster as ‘a great force for social change on the planet’ you’d be forgiven for thinking there was rather more of it going on. Nonetheless, the deals do appear to be slowly catching up with the rhetoric – recent research suggests that social investment was up 22% to £202m in 2011/12, and several early guinea pigs have shown signs of success – reoffending is down at Peterborough Prison and Mencap’s £10m bond recently sold out sooner than anticipated. Following the launch of Big Society Capital, the Social Stock Exchange and Social Impact […]

Little good news for charities in 2013 Spending Review

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June 27, 2013 at 09:11

There was little cause for optimism for the charity sector in the Government’s 2013 Spending Review, with a few niche giveaways overshadowed by more details on planned welfare reforms and further cuts to local government. What’s it all about? The 2013 Spending Review divided up a pre-determined amount of spending between departments for the 2015/16 financial year, aiming to make total savings of £11.5bn on 2014/15. It also outlined future changes to ‘annually managed expenditure’, which is made up largely of welfare and debt interest payments and accounts for just over half of total government expenditure. This round of cuts […]

Why recruitment from the private sector may be increasing in charity finance teams

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June 4, 2013 at 14:43

Charity Finance Group’s latest People and Pay Survey (formerly Salary Survey) showed a significant increase in recruitment from the private sector into charity finance teams, but what are the drivers behind this trend, for both employees and charities, and what might it suggest to us about wider changes in the sector? Let’s begin with the numbers. 338 CFG member charities participated in the People and Pay survey this year, and 41% of these recruited someone to their finance department in 2012. Of these, 59% reported having recruited someone from the private sector, compared to just 32% reported in last year’s […]

The charity finance professional in 2013: insights from CFG’s latest People and Pay Survey

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April 26, 2013 at 18:47

This week sees the release of our latest People and Pay Survey (formerly Salary Survey), which tracks trends in salaries, recruitment and wider employment issues in charity finance teams. This year we revamped the survey to explore some new and exciting areas where we think important changes may be occurring, and renamed it to reflect its wider remit. So what does the survey tell us about charity finance professionals in 2013, and what can charities learn from this? 1. They have a wide range of responsibilities This year’s survey enabled us, for the first time, to put figures to a […]

Why high earners give – evidencing decisions

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March 18, 2013 at 18:58

The question of why people give is much-debated amongst those with an interest in charity funding – is it intrinsic altruism, a connection to a cause, a sense of duty? While personal experience and past successes are often the basis of fundraising decisions, there’s nothing like evidence and insight to provide comfort that a judgement is right. As charities struggle financially, understanding and tapping into people’s reasons for giving, particularly of those who can most afford to do so, can ensure continuity of service to those beneficiaries most in need.  That’s why last week’s research by New Philanthropy Capital into […]

How hungry are you? Re-thinking your charity’s risk appetite might be a chance worth taking

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February 22, 2013 at 11:56

Does your charity have a fully-functioning ‘risk strategy’? Is it integrated into the decision-making process at all levels throughout your organisation? No? Fear not, for you’re not alone – in fact, you’re far from it.  When a similar question was asked at Crowe Clark Whitehill’s 2013 INGO Conference last week, not a single hand was raised. However, an informative session by Pesh Framjee of CCW and Gaynor Miller of Christian Aid, highlighted why, at a time when charities are having to innovate to survive and the one constant is change, rethinking approach to risk is arguably more important than ever […]

Using your mouth as well as your money: charities investing for change

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January 4, 2013 at 16:00

One issue that we can expect to hear more of in 2013 is responsible investment. Now more than ever, charities are taking a holistic view of their activities and considering how they can use all of their assets in the interests of their mission and beneficiaries.  Using investments for social objectives is one way of doing this.  We debated this issue with some leaders in the responsible investment field towards the end of last year and a common theme which emerged was a growing appetite for using positive screening and corporate engagement as a campaigning tool to further the charity’s […]

Ethical investment: why it might be right for your charity

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September 28, 2012 at 13:48

One highlight of  this year’s CFG investment Conference for me was hearing Edward Mason, Secretary of the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group, give a fascinating talk on ethical investment. Ethical (or socially responsible) investment (EI) is that which takes social, environmental or governance issues into consideration in investment decisions. A growing number of charities have adopted some form of EI policy in recent years, yet many others have not. Although I’ve interned and volunteered in charities for a number of years, I’m still relatively new to working in the sector and this was an aspect of charity that I had […]