News

Eleven Charities Fined for Data Protection Breaches

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined eleven charities that breached the Data Protection Act by misusing donors’ personal data.

ICO investigations found many of the charities secretly screened millions of donors so they could target them for additional funds. Some charities traced and targeted new or lapsed donors by piecing together personal information obtained from other sources. And some traded personal details with other charities creating a large pool of donor data for sale.

A summary of how each charity breached the law can be found here.

The Information Commissioner has exercised her discretion in significantly reducing the level of today’s fines, taking into account the risk of adding to any distress caused to donors by the charities’ actions. The same approach was taken to fines issued to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (£25,000) and British Heart Foundation (£18,000) in December.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “Millions of people will have been affected by these charities’ contravention of the law. They will be upset to learn the way their personal information has been analysed and shared by charities they trusted with their details and their donations.

To read the Charity Digital News article in full click here.


Instagram For Charities: How Can You Make The Most Of It?

More and more organisations are using Instagram to reach a wider audience. In 2013, a survey of 100 charities found that none of them had a presence on the popular image-sharing app. Since then, the number of charities using the platform has grown dramatically, and it has become a force to be reckoned with.

1) Why Should Your Charity Be on Instagram?
You need to be part of the conversation.

If your posts are topical, you have the potential to reach an extremely wide audience. Charities and nonprofits are often rich with compelling stories and imagery – Instagram is a great way to visually share and bring them to a new audience.
Reaching a wide audience.

Instagram is first and foremost a community-led platform – and the fastest growing one, too, with 600 million monthly users and counting. Instagram is a great platform to reach the next generation of supporters and donors – both millennials and Gen Z. In fact, 70% of all young millennials are on the platform.

Introduce yourself.
Instagram users tend to use the platform as a discovery tool – to find inspiration, engage with ideas, and find out new things. This provides a great opportunity for charities, especially as most of the content in people’s Instagram feeds is from people they don’t know, making it the perfect place to introduce your organisation or cause to a new audience.

2) What Content Should You Be Sharing?
Built for mobile.

Images that work best are compelling, consistent, and tell the viewer everything they need to know in one frame. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, either – Instagram is built for mobile, so images taken on a smartphone work well. It’s worth A/B testing different types of content to see what resonates with your audience.

Be recognisable.

Well-crafted images help drive engagement – it is essential to have your brand incorporated somehow in most images, whether its your product, a logo, a colour, or your name. This is important because people can ‘regram’ your image from their own accounts, which is fantastic in terms of reaching new audiences. However, you don’t want to lose any brand cache, so the image should have strong branding, if possible.

Keep it real.

According to Instagram, in 2016, being amusing is the top attribute millennials associate with content they like to follow (57%), followed by creative content (52%), beautiful content (48%) and inspiring content (43%). But remember – don’t force it! It’s also important to be authentic.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.


National Churches Trust Project Development Grants

Grants of up to £10,000 are available to support churches of any Christian denomination to become more sustainable.

Priority in this round will be given to applications from the North East of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as from Baptist and Presbyterian churches. Buildings must have been built as churches originally and 50% of the funds needed must be in place.

The funding can be used to:
• Diagnose issues affecting the church
• Test the viability of proposed solutions to improve sustainability
• Develop guiding policies and plans that will be implemented through an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, or other large church heritage funders.

The grants are likely to assist with the cost of staff time, such as a project manager or a professional adviser, and/or to produce a report that will help progress the project plans to a stage where they can be considered by large grant-giving bodies and to meet RIBA stage 1 requirement.

The next deadline for applications has been extended to 10 May 2017.

Visit the website.


Small, Local Charities Set to Feel the Benefit of Skills Training

The Foundation for Social Improvement has been awarded a grant totalling £199,580 to run a two year training programme, helping small, local charities and community groups develop their fundraising skills – including digital skills.

The programme run by the FSI in partnership with LocalGiving, the Small Charities Coalition and Charity Finance Group, will provide over 5,000 fundraising training opportunities. It will include face-to-face events across the country, webinars and online learning resources, one-to-one advice and consultancy appointments, fundraising campaign planning support, and intensive mentoring matches. Training will be subsidised, helping organisations to take part who may not normally have the resources to attend.

The training will be for small, local charities and community groups with an annual income of up to £1m, which have a local focus within England.

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson said: “Small, local charities and community groups provide essential support for local people and are the backbone of our communities helping to build a fairer society that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few.

“I want to help them be more resilient and sustainable, and this training programme will give them valuable skills so they can continue their vital work helping to support people up and down the country.”

Details of the training events will be added to the FSI’s website as they become available, with online resources for those who might not be able to attend the training.

Source: Charity Digital News


New-look Charity Digital Toolkit Launched

Following the launch of the much talked about Charity Digital Skills Report, which revealed that many UK charities are still struggling to get to grips with digital, Skills Platform and Zoe Amar Communications have launched the Charity Digital Toolkit.

This latest release is a sequel to the successful Charity Social Media Toolkit and showcases best practice, expert insight and practical tips to directly help charities navigate through digital transformation.

The Charity Digital Toolkit is relevant for anyone working in the charity sector – from frontline staff through to experienced digital managers, senior leaders and trustees. Everyone has a role to play in successful digital transformation and can benefit from this free resource.

It covers the basics of digital such as mapping your audience and developing your digital strategy; understanding the benefits of different marketing channels and measuring success. Leadership; fundraising; governance and risk are also particular areas of focus.

Key influencers
Charities and key influencers have been involved in developing the toolkit and have shared their own experiences and insights. This includes Martha Lane Fox CBE, who has written the foreword; the Charity Commission and Diabetes UK. Marie Curie has also shared its own digital transformation journey and revealed how tapping into digital can reap rewards for fundraising and income generation.

The toolkit also looks ahead to the future; at digital trends which will disrupt the sector and reshape the way supporters behave and engage with charities. If the future is digital, the right skills are crucial. Here, Breast Cancer Care shares advice on the skills your organisation needs to get digital right and how to upskill staff if there is a digital skills gap.

For more information about Skills Platform or the Charity Digital Toolkit 2017, visit www.skillsplatform.org/charitydigitaltoolkit

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.


Funding to Tackle Inactivity and Economic Disadvantage Round Two

People on a low income or no income at all, are less likely to take part in sport and physical activity than those earning more. Sport England Active Lives figures show 32% of people in semi-routine and routine occupations, such as shop assistants and waitresses, are inactive. That compares to 17% of people in managerial and professional occupations.

Sport England is launching Tackling Inactivity and Economic Disadvantage, the second round of its Inactivity Fund. It will support inactive people who have little income and are therefore economically disadvantaged. This group make up a third of the population in England aged 16 to 74 – 14.6 million people.

Sport England knows sport and physical activity can be extremely powerful in supporting positive social change for communities and individuals – and they want potential partners to tell them how they will do this.

That could mean using sport to improve someone’s mental wellbeing, help drive down crime rates in an area, or reduce social isolation in rural communities.

They want to work with community organisations who have a proven reach into the communities and with the individuals they are targeting. This means Sport England is expecting applications from a wide range of organisations, including non-sports organisations that they have worked with before.

Launching in mid-April, Round Two of their Inactivity Fund is split into two.
A £2 million pot of funding will support larger projects – up to a maximum of £500,000.

This will be for people who have little disposable income. They live very ordered lives but find it hard to build physical activity into their lives, or they feel being active is just not for them.

A second £1m pot is for projects between £10,000 and £100,000. This fund will focus on people who are far less likely to have a steady income, or any income at all, living more chaotic lives with additional challenges. For example, they may have an offending background, be dealing with alcohol or drug misuse, or facing mental health issues.

• Full details and prospectus: mid-April 2017
• Invitation for applications: mid-April 2017

Click here for further information


Dan Maskell Tennis Trust

Special schools as well as coaches, clubs, disability groups, associations and individuals can apply for grants from the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust for equipment and specialist wheelchairs to enable disabled people to play tennis.

Funding of up to £1,500 is available for groups and clubs and up to £500 for individuals. Individuals can receive support for a sports wheelchairs, tennis rackets, coaching lessons with a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) licensed coach or course fees for official LTA development/Coaching courses. Groups can apply for wheelchairs, court hire, coaching fees and equipment packages which will include, rackets, balls, mini net, and coaching aids such as cones and throw down marker lines.

In the case of wheelchairs a deposit will be required; for individuals the amount of deposit required will depend on the wheelchair type requested, clubs will need to provide a deposit of £250 per chair.

The closing date for applications in this round is the 30th June 2017.

Click here for more information


New Reporting Obligation to HMRC Affects Charities Making Grants

Those charities which receive more than half of their income from financial investments in any year need to check whether they have an obligation to report details of their grant recipients to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). If more than half of your charity’s income is from financial investments and those investments are managed for you in whole or in part by a broker, fund manager, independent financial adviser, or wealth manager then you may need to carry out checks on your grant recipients and make a report to HMRC to meet your obligations under the ‘Common Reporting Standard’.

The Common Reporting Standard is a global agreement to combat offshore tax evasion through the sharing of financial information between tax administrations. For more information on the Common Reporting Standard and the reporting requirements please refer to guidance issued by HMRC.

To read other Charity Commission news click here.

Want to keep up to date with all the Charity Commissions news, guidance and events? Make sure you’re following them on Twitter @ChtyCommission, LinkedIn, and sign up to their blog from their website.

Source: Charity Commission News Issue 56 – February 2017


Regulatory Alerts Issued For Fundraising Charities

The Charity Commission recently issued an alert to promote the new Charities Act fundraising rules, which came in to force on 1 November 2016. The new rules affect:

 the trustees’ annual reports of larger charities that fundraise from the public
 the agreements that must be in place when third party fundraisers raise money for charities

The changes will help charities demonstrate their commitment to protecting donors and the public from poor fundraising practices. The new law will also help to ensure that fundraising standards form part of the agreements between charities and any commercial participators or professional fundraisers with whom they work. Find out how your charity is affected by the new provisions, and when compliance with them is required. You can also look at Charity reporting and accounting: the essentials (CC15d) which have been updated to reflect the new requirements.

The Charity Commission also issued joint alerts with the Fundraising Regulator about the importance of following data protection law when handling donors’ personal information, and about complying with their legal trustee duties when working with third party fundraisers as set out in the Commission’s guidance Charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties (CC20).

To read other Charity Commission news click here.

Want to keep up to date with all the Charity Commissions news, guidance and events? Make sure you’re following them on Twitter @ChtyCommission, LinkedIn, and sign up to their blog from their website.

Source: Charity Commission News Issue 56 – February 2017


Roll-Out Of New Pound Coin Provides Digital Opportunity For Charities

A number of charities have rolled out social media focused fundraising campaigns designed to capitalise on the introduction of the new £1 coin (released on 28 March 2017).

Numerous charities have turned to the #PoundforPound hashtag to encourage donations of the new, or old for that matter, coins.

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF), in a blog post on its website, points out that fundraising campaigns like this have been successful before – just last year, the #firstfiver and #fivergiver campaigns reportedly raised £12.5m.

“The launch of the new £1 coin is likely to provide similar opportunities for charities to invite their supporters to give generously to the causes they care about,” the blog added.

“It’s estimated that over one third of the £1.3bn worth of coins stored in piggy banks or jam jars around the UK, are the current £1 style. Government research suggests that that 5% of the public would consider donating their old £1 coins to a charity when they cash them in.”

The IoF has been working with the Royal Mint and others to encourage people to donate their old pound coins when they receive a new one, raising awareness using the hashtag #PoundforPound.

As well as the initial launch of the new coin, there is also scope for charities to think about how they might organise their fundraising activities and campaigns during the transition period over the summer as people become more aware that the old £1 will be taken out of circulation in October 2017.

Macmillan, St Margaret’s Hospice, Action for Children and Thames Hospice are just some of the charities that have turned to social media today to use the new coin’s roll-out to their benefit.

Charities are also being reminded of the need to update collection boxes, money counting machines and other tech to ensure compliance with the new coin.

Source: Charity Digital News


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