articles: Charities & not-for-profit

Effective leadership and governance

As this week is Trustees’ Week (12-16 November), I felt it perfect timing to highlight again two maxims to keep in mind when considering taking on the charity trustee role or, indeed, are an existing trustee. Yes, you may need to be a bit more hands on if your charity is smaller but, in general, I’ve always found these maxims helpful, no matter the size of the charity.

Deterring fraud in charities

‘Charity begins at home’ is an old proverb but, all too often, rather than taking its intended meaning – charity is learnt in the home – unscrupulous fraudsters have no hesitation in ensuring charity begins and ends in their home.

STEP launches ‘The Informed Trustee’

During Trustees’ Week, the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) – the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning – launched an innovative new online course for charity trustees, as part of its commitment to providing education in the field of trusts and trusteeship.

Charity Trustees - It’s a man’s world

During Trustees’ Week the important work that Charity Trustees do has, once again, come under the spotlight. New research – commissioned by the Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission, and led by Cass Business School and the Cranfield Trust – found that charities need to do more to promote diversity on their Boards to reflect the communities they serve.

Charity Governance Code 2017

Governance has become a hot topic for the charity sector in recent years, in particular since the Kids Company collapse in 2015. In response, the Charity Governance Code has been updated and is aimed at encouraging higher standards of governance and leadership across the sector.

VAT blow for cultural charities and public bodies

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has finally crushed hopes that more public bodies and charities engaged in cultural activities could claim VAT exemption on their admission charges. Its recent judgment in the VAT case of the British Film Institute (BFI), released in February, draws a line under an argument that has been running for the last four years.

More fundraising changes afoot

In July 2016 the Fundraising Standards Board was replaced by the Fundraising Regulator following a government-commissioned report into the self-regulation of charity fundraising by Sir Stuart Etherington, Chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
 

Brexit and its impact for charities

The Brexit decision has been hotly debated, with everyone evaluating how this will affect them. The charity and not-for-profit sector are amongst those who have spoken out over the past few days. In particular, they all want to ensure that their levels of funding can be protected to ensure their beneficiaries are supported, and that children and other vulnerable people continue to feel safe and secure.

The Budget 2016 – video summary

A sugar-coated Budget for the next generation

In the uncertain global economic environment, the Chancellor’s deficit-reduction goals have become more challenging. But he still managed to strike an up-beat tone when delivering “a Budget that puts the next generation first”.

An Autumn Statement for “rebuilding Britain”

Five years since delivering his first spending review, George Osborne spent over an hour delivering his 2015 Autumn Statement. He repeatedly stated the Government’s intent to build public services, infrastructure, national defences and strong public finances.

Charity annual returns to contain more information

Following consultation, the Charity Commission is adding three new question areas to the annual returns filed by charities for financial years ending in 2015. “The changes are intended to strengthen the Commission’s ability to identify risk and ensure members of the public have the information they need to make confident decisions about charities,” says Ann Mathias, a charities and not-for-profit specialist at Moore Stephens.

The Autumn Statement – what can we expect?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver his Autumn Statement on Wednesday 3 December. This will provide an update on the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, which will be published the same day.

Income recognition under the new SORP

For accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015, charities must decide whether to prepare accounts under FRSSE or FRS 102. Due to differences between FRSSE and FRS 102, a statement of recommended practice (SORP) has been developed for both.
 

Charities and tax avoidance: no change to charity definition

It was announced in the Autumn Statement 2013 that the government intended to introduce legislation to prevent charities being set up to avoid tax. The legislation was expected to amend the definition of a charity for tax purposes to put beyond doubt that entities established for the purpose of tax avoidance are not entitled to claim charitable tax reliefs. The legislation was expected to be introduced in the Finance Bill 2014

The Budget 2014 – summary

In a speech full of sound bites, the Chancellor’s 2014 Budget repeated past themes – the need to build a resilient economy and for Britain to live within its means. But his dominant message was new: this was a Budget for “the makers, the doers and the savers”.