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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 […]

Transparency: Finding the right balance

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June 6, 2014 at 16:31

I am currently enjoying the warm glow of the success of our Annual Conference. The CFG team pulled off an absolute blinder in my view. Not only did we have the largest number of bookings to date (over 700), but also the quality of the speakers, the delivery of the day and atmosphere were just superb! In particular, it is worth mentioning the closing plenary. There’s no doubt it could have gone on longer, but to have the Minister (Nick Hurd) and Shadow Minister (Lisa Nandy) for Civil Society, a key Lib Dem peer (Baroness Barker), the Chair of the […]

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 […]

Making CFG fit for the future

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May 9, 2014 at 11:47

As we approach this year’s Annual Conference, I thought I would use my introduction to talk about what CFG has done to be “fit for the future”, and to give you a heads up on the changes we plan to make to continue this exciting journey. CFG is now in its 27th year. Over the years we have grown and developed, and the skills we need from staff and the board have changed and evolved. Each of the chief executives and (particularly before we had a significant staff capacity) trustees have brought their own thoughts and contributions to the support […]

Managing in a Downturn Report Reflections….

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April 11, 2014 at 15:08

Yesterday saw the launch of the seventh ‘Managing in Downturn’ report – a survey series that we have run in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and PwC since the start of the economic downturn in 2008. The launch event itself was a lively affair with reflections of the findings from: Andrew Sentance, PwC’s Chief Economist; Mark Astarita, the IoF Chair; and our own Jane Tully. Highlights included Andrew Sentance’s weather map of the global economic outlook for 2014 (sunny intervals for the UK!) and Mark Astarita’s optimism that the baby boomer generation’s large capital assets will have significant implications […]

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 […]

The Commission: A damsel in distress?

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March 12, 2014 at 17:04

We’re not long into the new year, but already it is looking as though the increased (and sometimes hostile) scrutiny being applied to the charity sector is set to continue. This time, it’s the Charity Commission that is back in the spotlight, with the Public Accounts Committee giving a damning indictment of its performance. Last month I urged us to come together as a sector in order to respond to new pressures and change the narrative around charities. In light of these latest developments, and at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I’ll say it again. In recent […]

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 […]

Accounting at the sharp end: A report from the Community Accountancy Conference 2014

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February 10, 2014 at 15:57

I’ve not long returned from a short sojourn in rain-drenched Birmingham. Several CFG colleagues and I donned both our waterproofs and chainmail armour in order to sally forth into the number-crunchers’ front-line of battle – community accountancy…! For those not in the know, a community accountancy service (CAS) is defined as “a project or organisation which seeks to support voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) on issues of financial management and accounting.” The focus of the support is normally on the small to medium VCOs – those with less than £250,000 annual income, and the majority of the support provided by […]