We continue to update the VoluntaryNews Election 2015 page. The major party manifestos have now been published, and we have added links to sector analysis and commentary, including from Charity Finance Group, Charity Aid Foundation, NCVO, ACEVO (charity chief executives)....
The government released a discussion paper on reform of the business rates system shortly before the Budget. As Charity Finance Group says, although charitable business rate relief is not the main focus of the discussion paper, reform of business rates could have a significant impact on the sector.
The latest partner of Technology Trust, providing heavily discounted software, equipment or tech services for eligibly charities, is the ticketing platform Eventbrite.
Eligible organisations can get a £200 credit voucher to be used on a new Eventbrite organiser account for the admin fee of twenty pounds. See http://www.technology-trust.org/tt-exchange-eventbrite-credit/.
The steering group behind the sector’s ‘good governance’ guidance is considering whether additional materials or guidance for more complex or larger organisations might be helpful. They ask: Are the main governance challenges faced by such organisations addressed by the Governance Code? If not, what additional material or guidance might be needed to apply the Code more effectively?
On NCVO’s slightly redesigned web pages, ‘Older volunteers, resilience and why we shouldn’t be complacent‘.
The lead-in says “Older volunteers don’t seem to be affected by economic austerity as much as we might think – but as changes to pension and retirement age come into effect, it’s no time to be complacent about this highly active group of individuals.” The article partly draws on a recent event which explored volunteering by older people in relation to economic austerity.
Regulations giving new detailed conditions for qualifying as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), which gives a range of tax reliefs, came in from 1st April 2015. HM Revenue and Customs is also able to apply the criteria to registration applications which were put on hold while the legislation was reviewed (potentially as far back as 1st April 2010).
A briefing on public service commissioning from sector consultancy NPC aims to help funders understand their choices in the changing landscape. While grant funding for charities has shrunk over the last decade, contracts have increased £6.5 billion.
Voluntary Arts has produced a ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing Toolkit’ based on the concept developed by the New Economics Foundation – a set of actions which, introduced into daily life, is proven to enhance emotional resilience and enable people, groups and communities to flourish.
hashtagcharity, an international volunteering initiative to ‘SmartMatch’ those with technical skills to charity IT projects, launched on 9th April. At time of writing, there are several UK based projects amongst a mainly American list but geographic coverage is likely to change over time – hashtagcharity itself is based in Hungary.
Clore Social Fellowship develops leaders with a social purpose so that they can transform their communities, organisations and the world around them.
The search for the next batch of Clore Social Fellows opens on 11th May. Meanwhile, there is a series of information events in London (22nd April), Manchester (29th April) and Gateshead (5th May). There will be a chance to learn about the content of the Fellowship and what being a Fellow really means in practice, hear from current and former Fellows, and ask questions.
Material recently added to our Election 2015 round-up page.
A new guidance section includes two items so far:
Understanding ‘Purdah’ – see this NCVO article on the impact of the pre-election period. Quick quote: Purdah basically means councils – and other government bodies – aren’t allowed to say anything politically controversial or publish anything which appears to support a political party or individuals.