Why is transparency and reporting important for charities?

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April 9, 2015 at 09:22

Helena Wilkinson, Partner at Price Bailey   Charities have seen a lot more focused attention from the media over recent the last year on transparency. This has had a particular focus on remuneration, but has also spanned other aspects including investments, reserves and income streams – particularly government and local authority grants. Finance leaders in charities need to carefully think about the messages and information that you disclose (and do not disclose) about your organisation.  One key aspect of this communication and interaction with the public is the statutory accounts – which are readily and freely available for most charities off […]

Caron’s comment: can profit and social change mix?

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March 9, 2015 at 15:57

I recently attended an interesting seminar on social ventures. The presenters argued that the legal construct of a venture should be irrelevant, and that it was the organisation’s ability to bring about social change that mattered. Time constraints prevented a detailed exploration of some of these fascinating avenues, so I’ve been reflecting on them ever since. The one that particularly stuck with me was the statement that if you can get corporates’ strength focused on social good, they are “arguably the best vehicle for social change because of their often plentiful resources and their ability to innovate”. Businesses as a […]

Pressure on charity campaigning is not going to go away

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February 27, 2015 at 11:18

This week Weber Shandwick held a debate on the future of charity campaigning which saw a panel of eminent speakers* discuss the Lobbying Act and other issues in the run up to the election. As reported by the sector press, the debate was intense and the vast majority of charities in the room believed that the sector was coming under undue pressure from politicians and regulators. However, on the back of this debate, I think there is a simple truth that charities need to take on board in the run up to the election: politicians are jealous of the influence […]

Audits, thresholds and transparency

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January 30, 2015 at 11:34

Last week, the Cabinet Office consultation on the future of the audit threshold for charities concluded. Charity Finance Group, in partnership with NCVO, responded to the consultation on behalf of members. Audits are an important part of the regulatory landscape for charities, and the government has proposed lifting the threshold for which charities have to have their accounts audited from £500,000 to £1m. We have supported this move, in line with responses from members to a previous consultation which proposed lifting the audit threshold. For many small and medium sized charities, audit costs can be significant and may not be […]

Are you inspired to become a trustee?

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November 14, 2014 at 15:33

It has been another busy Trustees’ Week and we’ve been joining in the celebrations of the great work that trustees do and encouraging others to get involved and make a difference. Being a trustee can be a rewarding experience, both for the individual and for the charity they are supporting. Charities benefit from the knowledge, skills and experience of their trustees, while trustees can develop new skills, meet new people, and get involved in a cause that matters to them. Our Services and Enterprise Director, Tania Cohen, tells us about her experience as a trustee of Womankind Worldwide. “Womankind Worldwide […]

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 […]

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 […]

Diversifying your Board – the benefits for small charities

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March 3, 2014 at 10:52

Alex Swallow, Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition tells us… Having a diverse Board makes a real difference to the prospects for your charity. There are two types of diversity that are important here, which are closely linked. The first is diversity of skills – a charity Board will typically need finance skills, comms skills, legal skills, fundraising skills, research skills and so on. The second is every other form of diversity: age, gender, ethnicity etc. In order to get the best trustees possible you need a board that is open to a great variety of people, not one […]