EU Referendum: Keep watching this space…

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June 24, 2016 at 09:43

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union and the Prime Minister has resigned. What does this mean for charities?

What did the Romans ever know about data protection?

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January 19, 2016 at 17:33

As usual, quite a lot. Caesar famously used his cipher device to protect important and sensitive military data among his generals. So what can we learn from the famous Roman?

The time for ‘rational optimism’ – A response to Matt Ridley

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August 19, 2015 at 10:19

Another week and another article from a national newspaper calling for a ‘radical’ rethink about the charity sector (or a ‘radical cleansing’) as Viscount Ridley put it. It’s certainly been a tough few months for charities which have seen considerable scrutiny about how they operate. Although it can be uncomfortable at times, we should always welcome public debate into how charities work and the activities that they undertake. However, while we should welcome scrutiny, we should not be afraid to combat misconceptions about the sector. Public understanding and trust in charities will not be enhanced if we do not correct […]

How much do we know about PbR?

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June 19, 2015 at 18:16

Today the National Audit Office (NAO) have published their report on the Government’s use of Payment by Results (PbR). I have drawn out some of the key points of relevance to charities. Contracts are an important source of income for charities Charities play a key role in supporting people and communities.By being close to their service users, charities often have a unique perspective on their needs and how to adapt services to meet those needs. My colleague Andrew O’Brien has written previously on the growing consensus that charities can play a key role in delivering preventative services. In this way, charities are […]

What’s the latest data on charity sector income and expenditure?

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June 10, 2015 at 10:26

The UK Civil Society Almanac 2015 is here and as ever provides a wealth of valuable data. I’ve had a read through and drawn out what I think are some of the key findings for people interested in charity finance.

A chance to restart the social investment conversation

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March 31, 2015 at 09:00

Last Friday saw the launch of the Alternative Social Investment Commission’s report. You can read the full report with its conclusions and recommendations here. As someone who has followed the social investment market’s development closely after the past few years, this report is a welcome breath of fresh air in a debate which appeared to have stagnated. The report starts, quite rightly, by looking at what social investment actually is. Over the years, there has been a tendency to radically extend the definition of social investment to meaning any money that the sector receives that isn’t a grant or a […]

‘Professionalism’ is not a dirty word

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January 28, 2014 at 18:34

2014. I can’t quite believe that this is my fourth year working within the sector, but I’ve been sensing that the pressure on us as a ‘sector’ has intensified… Pensions. Pay. Investments. The way we do ‘business’. When I came to CFG in 2010, the biggest challenge taxing charity FDs was the uncertain economic climate. Now, broadly speaking, I believe that we’ve got to grips with this ‘new norm’. That’s not to say that all is rosy in the garden on the funding front, but rather that much of the contraction in our sources of income, biting so deeply after […]

Little good news for charities in 2013 Spending Review

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June 27, 2013 at 09:11

There was little cause for optimism for the charity sector in the Government’s 2013 Spending Review, with a few niche giveaways overshadowed by more details on planned welfare reforms and further cuts to local government. What’s it all about? The 2013 Spending Review divided up a pre-determined amount of spending between departments for the 2015/16 financial year, aiming to make total savings of £11.5bn on 2014/15. It also outlined future changes to ‘annually managed expenditure’, which is made up largely of welfare and debt interest payments and accounts for just over half of total government expenditure. This round of cuts […]

‘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 […]

Being charitable by what you spend, not by what you save

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September 4, 2012 at 10:59

Being charitable by what you spend, not by what you save Becoming a trustee of an endowed charitable foundation could appear intimidating to anyone that doesn’t have investment and finance expertise. In addition to general trustee duties, the ‘endowment’ aspect often cloaks the role in an air of mystery, complexity and technicality, where the focus is more on the performance of assets than charitable mission. However, a recent report by ACF ‘The governance and financial management of endowed foundations’, is a helpful reminder of the benefits of going ‘back to basics’ and keeping a clear focus on what the foundation […]