How is local government using social investment?

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February 29, 2016 at 12:49

A shorter version of this article can be found in Charity Finance Group’s latest Economic Outlook Briefing which can be downloaded (for free) here. This edition’s theme is local government and its changing relationship with the charity sector.   Geetha Rabindrakumar, Head of Social Sector Engagement, Big Society Capital talks about how local authorities are using innovative new social investment methods to tackle long term problems in the midst of a challenging financial climate.  With continued cuts to local government funding, and pressure on services, social investment offers both local authorities and charity providers one tool which could help to catalyse some of […]

Hunting for the silver lining; the IFS, the economy and charities.

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February 12, 2016 at 15:07

This week I attended the IFS’s Green Budget 2016 event, which provides an essential commentary on the economic issues facing the current government over the next Parliament. The report comes at a pertinent time as the world economy faced a turbulent week in the stock markets. I’m going to look what this could mean for the charity sector by 2020.

What did the Romans ever know about data protection?

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January 19, 2016 at 17:33

As usual, quite a lot. Caesar famously used his cipher device to protect important and sensitive military data among his generals. So what can we learn from the famous Roman?

What’s in local government’s Christmas stocking?

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December 17, 2015 at 16:56

It’s Christmas and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has unveiled the government’s provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2016-17. The Local Government Finance Settlement is effectively a ‘Local Government Budget’ for the year and its provisional nature means it is open for consultation. Overall, this year’s stocking was filled with a combination of lumps of coals and a couple of potentially tasty oranges (ho, ho, ho). Here are the headlines that charities need to know.

What do charities need to know about the Spending Review?

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November 25, 2015 at 17:06

This Spending Review was full of surprises. As you may have seen from our live blog, we did not expect that the chancellor would have the wiggle room to avoid front-loading cuts early on the in the Parliament. Osborne made a number of positive announcements, and  many charities will be leaving the office today with a sense of relief. 

Tackling some myths on the Spending Review

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September 10, 2015 at 17:21

If you listen very carefully when you walk down Whitehall you’ll hear the grumblings and table thumping of officials as they prepare for the Spending Review due to be announced on the 25th November 2015. The Spending Review is very much akin to a ‘super’ Autumn Statement, it is a review of all public spending to ensure that it meets the government’s priorities in an efficient and cost-effective way over this Parliament. Despite government spending cuts, the voluntary sector received £13.3bn in income from government grants and contracts (local, national and international). So this is going to be an incredibly […]

The time for ‘rational optimism’ – A response to Matt Ridley

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August 19, 2015 at 10:19

Another week and another article from a national newspaper calling for a ‘radical’ rethink about the charity sector (or a ‘radical cleansing’) as Viscount Ridley put it. It’s certainly been a tough few months for charities which have seen considerable scrutiny about how they operate. Although it can be uncomfortable at times, we should always welcome public debate into how charities work and the activities that they undertake. However, while we should welcome scrutiny, we should not be afraid to combat misconceptions about the sector. Public understanding and trust in charities will not be enhanced if we do not correct […]

Public benefit is at the core of both charities and the tax system

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August 13, 2015 at 09:45

Some of you may have read a recent column in the Financial Times by its Money Week Editor, Merryn Somerset Webb entitled “Charity should not begin with a tax break (£)”. As a sector we are used to having to defend our privileged status, and we should never forget that it is a privilege, in the tax system. Most readers will remember the NCVO & CAF campaign “Give it back, George” that successfully got the last Coalition government to exclude charitable donations from a cap on personal tax reliefs. Only last year, we had to defend attempts to redefine a […]

Financial sustainability won’t be easy for the charity sector

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July 22, 2015 at 09:48

Today, has seen the launch of the review into the financial sustainability of the voluntary sector, conducted by CFG, NCVO, Institute of Fundraising, Locality, NAVCA and Small Charities Coalition. It has been a long piece of work, involving a call for evidence from the voluntary sector, with more than 100 charities responding to a detailed survey; pouring over existing statistics, synthesising various strands of research and forecasting the future of the sector’s finances. The full report, which you can download here, is a wakeup call for the charity sector, government and funders. Although the economy appears on the road to […]

We can’t ignore the charity sector’s financial situation

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July 13, 2015 at 15:34

Our sector has had a few days to recover from the decisions outlined in the Chancellor’s Budget last week. Although charities were not the focus, the decisions taken within it are going to have a big impact on our operating environment for the coming five years. Often we talk about the issues facing the sector in isolation; however, this is not how charities will experience them. It seems likely that over the next few years three things are going to put considerable pressure on already fragile financial situation: 1)    More cuts in government income, both grants and contracts 2)    Increasing […]