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‘Tell me what I have to do…’

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January 29, 2013 at 16:45

The Impact Leadership Conference, a new addition to the CFG calendar and a new collaboration with our partners NPC, promised to be challenging and exciting from the start.  Impact is highly topical, and following the work that has been done to cement some basic principles and ideas sector wide, it seemed timely to hold an event which would offer support to sector leaders that really want to take this on, to get better at it and to further develop peer learning. To say the least, there is varied understanding of impact in the sector.  There are those that probably believe […]

Using your mouth as well as your money: charities investing for change

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January 4, 2013 at 16:00

One issue that we can expect to hear more of in 2013 is responsible investment. Now more than ever, charities are taking a holistic view of their activities and considering how they can use all of their assets in the interests of their mission and beneficiaries.  Using investments for social objectives is one way of doing this.  We debated this issue with some leaders in the responsible investment field towards the end of last year and a common theme which emerged was a growing appetite for using positive screening and corporate engagement as a campaigning tool to further the charity’s […]

Public service delivery is risky business

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January 2, 2013 at 12:49

The end of the year saw government announcing a series of master classes to aid charities bidding for contracts to better understand the new public service delivery environment.  Due in Spring 2013, this complements the Commissioning Academy which aims to improve the relationship from the other side, helping commissioners understand how to interact with civil society. Both are welcome, much needed, and should help to improve understanding of the challenges and priorities for both parties – in particular informing their risk profiles. Although it’s a sweeping generalisation, it is fair to say that both charities and local authorities can be […]

Banking Standards Commission report sparks further debate on the banking reforms

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December 21, 2012 at 14:34

Today the long and messy process of reforming the banking sector to avoid another catastrophe got shaken up by the publication of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards’ report on the reforms.  A shake up which could also affect the way the reforms impact charities. The Commission was set up following the LIBOR scandals to look at standards in banking, and was also tasked with conducting pre-legislative scrutiny of the Banking Reform Bill, the Treasury’s package of measures (based on the Independent Commission on Banking’s recommendations) to reform the banking sector to increase competition, stability and integrity. The Commission’s scrutiny […]

FATCA: The facts (plus a few observations)

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December 20, 2012 at 10:50

Few people outside of the financial services industry have heard of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and even fewer would expect it to have any direct impact on UK charities. However, the early signs are that this complex piece of US legislation will add another unwanted layer of red tape to UK charity regulation.  But before delving into what it might mean for charities, here’s a brief summary of the legislative beast that is FATCA: FATCA is new US legislation aimed at combating tax evasion by US residents using foreign accounts – an uncontroversial policy goal but with […]

Inspiring financial leadership

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December 14, 2012 at 15:19

Inspiring financial leadership – it’s in the CFG strapline, but what does it mean, what is inspiring financial leadership and what does it mean to be an inspiring financial leader? In many regards the distinction between being a leader and being a financial leader is artificial – we are all called to be leaders within our organisations, but as the person who carries the financial brief inevitably that leadership will be expressed from a finance perspective.  But what should this leadership look like? For starters I would suggest that to be an inspiring financial leader you have to be an […]

Autumnal colour or a wintery chill?

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December 5, 2012 at 19:25

This year’s Autumn Statement – the Government’s opportunity to set out its stall for the months ahead and to respond to the latest growth forecasts – does little to reinforce our confidence in the economy and outlook for charities and those they support who are vulnerable. In an otherwise stormy sea, the only beacons of light for charities themselves were the headline grabbing cancellation in planned fuel duty rises, the reference to a forthcoming consultation on extending Gift Aid to cover digital platforms, and the additional spend on the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme over the next 5 years (as a […]

CIOs: An end in sight…

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November 27, 2012 at 12:02

The Small Charitable Donations Bill isn’t the only thing happening that’s good for charities this week – we also, after a wait the  equivalent of the Marathon de Sables, have real progress on CIOs (Charitable Incorporated Organisations).  With their statutory instruments finally seeing the light of day and up for debate somewhere in the quieter corridors of Westminster today – in the mysteriously named Third Delegated Legislative Committee no less –   this new legal form looks likely to overcome its last outstanding hurdles. The slow introduction has been a source of frustration for many charities, some of whom unfortunately could […]

Making the most of your people

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November 16, 2012 at 16:50

We’ve been reviewing the top risks in charities for 11 years now, and it’ll be no surprise that year on year income reduction and uncertainty top the pile.  The advice in response here is always to review income streams and diversify if possible.  A familiar mantra – one that’s easy to say, but in reality difficult to achieve as often the right business practices, time and skills are needed to see it through. There are plenty of indications that charities have been trying to put themselves on a more sustainable financial footing by looking more closely at their business practices, […]

Are you getting all you can from your bank?

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October 26, 2012 at 15:14

Let’s be blunt – managing your own bank account can be a fairly dull, routine process and not something you want to spend a lot of time on.  However it is essential, and a convenient service from a supportive bank will ensure your funds are managed properly and, hopefully, take up very little of your time.  Many charities want a quick and easy solution to banking too and we receive regular queries from organisations wanting to make sure they’re picking the right bank account and going about it the right way. Selecting a bank account is like choosing between mobile […]