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.

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme: Is it really working for charities?

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December 10, 2015 at 12:15

Charity Finance Group has launched a survey on Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. But why are we doing this and how can you help?

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 […]

Targeted giveaways risk creating a hierarchy of charities

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August 28, 2015 at 17:58

Successive budgets over the last and current parliament have introduced targeted giveaways to charities through both Libor fines and VAT rebates. These funds have gone to selected organisations including military charities, rescue services, and youth organisations. Whilst this funding is very much welcome to those charities that receive it and their beneficiaries, such giveaways are becoming a worrying trend and risk categorising the sector into worthy and less worthy organisations, as deemed by the government of the day. Charity is personal… Simply put: a person’s decision whether or not to donate to charity and which cause to support will come down […]

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 […]

Some lessons from HMRC’s Higher Rate Gift Aid Donors report

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July 17, 2015 at 09:30

HMRC has published some research that it had commissioned on understanding charitable giving and Gift Aid behaviour amongst better-off individuals. Although I am not convinced that this was the best use of HMRC’s budget (see below), there are some lessons that we can learn from this research – despite the small sample size. Here are a few things to take away from HMRC’s research: We need to improve public awareness of Gift Aid Despite the individuals being interviewed earning significant amounts and potentially claiming thousands of pounds worth of Gift Aid, it is concerning that many participants were confused about […]

Welfare and employment dominate the Budget: What does this mean for charities?

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July 8, 2015 at 14:59

So we didn’t do that well with our bingo card – only ‘long term economic plan’, ‘£9 minimum wage target’, ‘fixing the roof whilst the sun is shining’ and the name dropping of a charity came up. Whilst the budget report does not have a section dedicated to the charity sector, there are a number of measures announced that will have an impact on charity finance which I will outline here. Keep an eye out for our briefing which will be posted on our website in due course. Profile of the cuts £17 billion of cuts were announced in today’s […]

#volsecbudget 2015 – CFG Live Blog

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July 8, 2015 at 09:12

09/07/2015 – 19:16 – AF This afternoon I attended the IFS post-budget briefing. Given the scale of the changes introduced it covered a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time so will I provide a more detailed update later. But for now, I am going to briefly summarise the key issues that I think are relevant to charity finance. I do also recommend that you take a look at the materials available on their website. The opening remarks made by director of the IFS, Paul Johnson, neatly provides the IFS’s over-arching narrative: that it is hard to see […]

What can charities expect from Wednesday’s Budget? #VolSecBudget

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July 6, 2015 at 17:37

It seems like only yesterday that we were getting ready for the last Budget, but this Wednesday the Chancellor will deliver the first Conservative Government Budget for nearly 20 years and charities will be watching with interest. If the spending pattern follows that of the previous Parliament, we may well see a frontloading of cuts into this Budget as Osborne seeks to make significant changes early on. Whilst charities will not directly be a focus, there is still plenty to look out for in terms of impact on people that rely on charity services and the sector’s funding environment. You […]