What do we do with a problem like LGPS?

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August 5, 2015 at 09:58

The Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS) has received some welcome attention in review of the scheme’s deficit management carried out by PWC. CFG believes that Direct Benefit schemes are a “ticking time bomb” for the charity sector and the LGPS certainly adds to the problem. The latest figures show that the number of members paying into the scheme has stagnated at around 1.6 million people. At the same time, the proportion of LGPS members claiming their pensions now, or are no longer paying into the scheme but are eligible for payments the future, has increased from 58% in 2009/10 to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Be prepared: preventing fraud in charities

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June 1, 2015 at 16:24

This guest blog from Sayer Vincent considers some of the most common types of fraud in charities and how they can be prevented.

Five reasons to attend CFG’s Annual Conference on May 13th

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April 27, 2015 at 15:51

With just ten working days left until CFG’s annual conference (and with tickets on track to sell out), I thought I’d take a minute or two to highlight 5 reasons why I think spending the day at the conference is more than worth your time. There are lots of opportunities to network and meet colleagues. With an attendance of over 500 charity finance professionals, the conference provides a unique opportunity to share experiences and learn from others – over a hot, fresh lunch and/or a glass of wine at the drinks reception. The conference always gets great feedback for its […]

Manifesto Watch 2015: UKIP

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April 16, 2015 at 12:37

CFG’s analysis of the party manifestos concludes with the United Kingdom Independence Party which unveiled their manifesto yesterday. Believe in Britain – The United Kingdom Independence Party’s Manifesto 2015 Summary of policies affecting charities: Sector-wide 20% business rate relief if it is the business’ only property and under £50k Repeal the Human Rights Act and replace with UK Bill of Rights Clamp down on ‘fake charities’ and state funded political activism Abolish Office for Civil Society Local government/Public Services Make it easier for small and medium sized businesses to tender for public sector contracts by removing the necessity to demonstrate compliance […]

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 […]