First thoughts on impact of interest rates cut on charities

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August 4, 2016 at 17:54

For the first time since 2009 the Bank of England has moved interest rates, not up but down, to 0.25%. What does this mean for charities? Here are my first thoughts on this important economic decision.

Do charities need to become social enterprises to survive?

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August 4, 2016 at 12:06

Heather Black at Economic Change asks “Is charity becoming irrelevant?” – this will be the question posed at the Large Charities Conference taking place in September, hosted by the Charity Finance Group.

Ten things you should know about the new power to make social investments

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August 1, 2016 at 10:53

The Charity Commission has produced interim guidance on the new social investment power which was passed in the recent Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016. This came into force on the 31st July 2016. I’d encourage anyone interested in social investment to read the full guidance here, but in order to help busy trustees and charity finance teams, here are ten things you should know about the new power to make social investments

New report should prompt major re-evaluation of social investment

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July 26, 2016 at 17:35

Last week saw a report issued by Social Spider’s on social investment “The Forest for the Trees”.

How is local government using social investment?

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February 29, 2016 at 12:49

A shorter version of this article can be found in Charity Finance Group’s latest Economic Outlook Briefing which can be downloaded (for free) here. This edition’s theme is local government and its changing relationship with the charity sector.   Geetha Rabindrakumar, Head of Social Sector Engagement, Big Society Capital talks about how local authorities are using innovative new social investment methods to tackle long term problems in the midst of a challenging financial climate.  With continued cuts to local government funding, and pressure on services, social investment offers both local authorities and charity providers one tool which could help to catalyse some of […]

Just one thing, Sir John…

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November 18, 2015 at 15:32

Last week I was delighted to attend NCVO’s Annual Hinton Lecture which saw an excellent speech from former Prime Minister, Sir John Major. Sir John touched on a number of subjects, far too many to consider in one blog post, and you can read the speech here or listen to it here. However one thing that struck me was Sir John’s answer in the Q&A after the speech around the need for investment in preventative services but that the public sector could not be expected to provide this in the coming years.

What’s the risk? Implications of the summer budget for housing associations

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July 22, 2015 at 11:00

The CFG team have recently been thinking about risk – risks in supply chains, cyber security risks and so on – and it is risk that forms the focus of this month’s Economic Outlook Briefing which will be published on 28th July. In the publication, my colleague Andrew O’Brien highlights that charities are particularly affected by government policy. Reading his article got me thinking about two particular policies introduced in the Summer Budget delivered by the Chancellor earlier this month: the extension of Right to Buy (RtB) to housing association properties and the reduction in social housing rents. Housing associations […]

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 […]

Flipping the coin: What Government could do to increase demand for social investment in charities

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September 10, 2013 at 12:46

Last week we responded to the consultation on a tax relief for social investment last week – the Government’s latest initiative to increase the supply of investment. As well as raising a number of concerns with various aspects of the relief, we also included some ideas for how the Government could stimulate greater demand for social investment, by more effectively engaging charities in their efforts. Here’s what we put forward: Positioning is key: First and foremost, we urged the Government to see social investment not as a solution to the charity sector’s funding challenges, but instead to recognise that it […]