Caron’s comment: Financial skills are a priority for any government

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April 9, 2015 at 16:47

In last month’s budget there was a welcome slug of cash to support the development of fundraising capacity building. I was pleased to hear it but couldn’t help thinking, why is there still a lack of recognition of the importance of financial skills? CFG’s drive over the last few years has been to change the narrative around finance. CFG is here to inspire the development of a financially confident, dynamic and trustworthy sector. In the minds of many, finance continues to be perceived as limited to controlling costs, meeting budgets and preparing and filing accounts. Our approach in recent years […]

Data is nothing without context

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February 9, 2015 at 17:34

In my final column of 2014, I predicted transparency would be a continuing topic this year, and so it is proving. You’ll find quite a bit on the subject in this month’s Finance Focus, some of it related to a report published only a few days into the new year by the right-leaning think tank the Centre for Policy Studies. I’m not going to suggest you read the report because the tone and nature of it is likely to raise your blood pressure – I know it had that effect on me. However, there is a danger that such ill-informed […]

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 […]

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 […]

Are IT teams in charities evolving from gatekeepers to digital enablers?

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March 25, 2014 at 10:19

John Simcock, Charities Director at eduserv, tells us about their latest research into Digital transformation in UK charities. This week we’ll be attending the CFG annual IT conference and thought it would be a good opportunity for charity leaders to consider the future role of the IT team within their organisation. We recently conducted research in partnership with CharityComms with 100 digital and IT charity leaders. The full findings are included in our report ‘Delivering Digital Transformation in UK Charities’ but some of the key findings may appear as cause for concern for charity leaders. It found that 73% thought their […]

Time for budget bingo

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March 19, 2014 at 10:20

Today’s budget is one of three ‘fiscal events’ marking the countdown to the next election and will no doubt be driven by political posturing more than economic imperatives. Despite the usual early leaks, indications are that there will be a surprise announcement, a rabbit in the box, most likely targeted at Conservative voters.  The theme this year is set to be ‘resilience’ – the Chancellor has already taken to twitter this morning to tweet about a resilient coin to reflect a resilient economy – and while the economic indicators look like they’re finally going in the right direction, we’re likely […]