March charity compliance update
Jen Gerrard of Gerrard Consulting looks at the key updates from the world of charity compliance.
Personal Information and Fundraising: Consent, purpose and transparency
New guidance has been published by The Fundraising Regulator to help charities understand better their responsibilities around donor consent and data protection. Complete with six case studies as well as an actions checklist and self-assessment toolkit to help organisations, make sure this is on your ‘to read’ list.
Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) news
- OSCR are working in collaboration with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and The Fundraising Regulator this month to deliver a series of one-and-a-half-hour consultation events in Scotland. Click here for more information
- Since last month’s update OSCR have published a new guide on being a charity in Scotland highlighting key areas of charity law. The guide is aimed at:
- Charity trustees of existing charities or people working in charities, especially smaller ones
- People who want to set up a charity
- Professionals who advise charities and organisations who want to become charities.
- With the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) becoming more popular as a legal structure for charities registered in England and Wales, OSCR have published a FAQs video looking at the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO). View it here.
Charity Today 2017
Following Teresa May’s speech at the Charity Commission’s annual meeting last month, we can report that ACEVO, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), the Institute of Fundraising and CharityComms have published a report, called ‘Charity Today’. The report is aimed at giving people a better understanding of the contribution made to public life by charities as well as giving an insight into how they operate and how they are changing.
Every day, charities spend £136.4m – equivalent to £1,578 per second – improving lives and supporting communities. The analysis, carried out by four major charity organisations, aims to highlight the huge role that charities play in our everyday lives.
ACEVO Chief Executive Vicky Browning said:
“Charities measure their success by the good they do, not the profits they make. As organisations driven by values, it's vital we operate to high standards and with real transparency. In recent times, poor processes and poor practice have been revealed in some areas of the charity sector. It's right that charities respond to this - and they have.
“But while legitimate criticism is healthy, there's a danger of letting it tarnish our sense of the value of charities, disproportionately damaging their worth and ability to function. We mustn't lose sight of the huge contribution charities make in so many areas of daily life, and to the nation as a whole.”
You can access the full report here.
Here’s our monthly round-up of some of the consultation opportunities to get involved and share your views over the coming weeks.
The following consultations are currently open and inviting responses:
- European Commission – VAT reform – closing date 20 March 2017
- Fundraising regulator - the Code of Fundraising Practice – published earlier this month, closing date 28 April 2017
The following consultations are closed with feedback analysis pending – watch this space for an update in future briefings:
- Charity Commission for England and Wales:
o Updating the framework for independent examination - closed on 30 September 2016.
o Reporting serious incidents in charities - closed on 12 January 2017.
- Annual return 2017 – closed on 9 March 2017
- Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector (known as the Charity Governance Code) – closed on 7 February 2017. The steering group are now analysing and considering feedback.
- Northern Ireland Executive – review of business rates -closed date 16 February 2017
- HMRC – withdrawal of statutory concessions – closed on 7 March 2017
Updates from closed consultations:
- Charity Tax Group - Charities will still continue to benefit from mandatory 80% rates relief on eligible properties but charities not also benefiting from discretionary relief, will need to be aware of this.
The spring Budget 2017
Of course, a compliance update would not be complete without reference to last week’s Spring budget statement. Access accountingWEB’s full review of the events from 8 March 2017 here.
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Jen is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and the founder and managing director of Gerrard Financial Consulting, a specialist accounting firm for the charitable sector. She has over 17 years’ experience working in accounting and finance and has also worked as an accountancy tutor for a leading training...