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Pilot Study – Participants Wanted!

Managing cases and measuring impact

• Are you part of a not-for-profit organisation?
• Do you have a turnover of less than £500,000 pa?
• Do you provide services for individuals or other organisations?
• Would you like to improve the way you record and manage information about your service users and the work that you do?
• Do you struggle to effectively demonstrate outcomes and impact to funders and commissioners?

If the answers to these questions are yes, then you could be eligible to join an exciting new initiative being delivered in partnership between and commercial tech company Iizuka and social enterprise capacity4change.

It has never been more difficult and competitive to generate funding for delivering essential services or establishing new initiatives in communities. Increasingly, funding is only attracted by proposals that contain evidence-based data that unequivocally demonstrates how services or initiatives provide social value or impacts positively the community they serve. The onus is on organisations to prove that they have the capacity and track record to deliver tangible returns on investment. It would seem therefore that outcomes-based commissioning is here to stay, so naturally, managing data and relationships is a challenge that is essential for not-for-profits to overcome. But how?

Capacity4change and Iizuka have teamed up and intend to support a small cohort of up to 10 organisations to trial and test a free version of relationship and outcomes management system, Case Manager. Amongst other things, they want to learn is exactly what third sector organisations need in order to self-configure their system and manage their data efficiently and strategically.

Case Manager is an online system which manages information, processes activities and generates management information quickly, simply and efficiently. It’s scalable, flexible, easy to implement, intuitive and simple to use. The system is currently used by a variety of public, private and voluntary organisations and several case studies can be viewed here.

What’s in it for me?
• Each participating organisation will receive Case Manager completely free of charge
• This study is an opportunity to improve your organisation’s data management systems
• It is also an opportunity to improve your organisation’s ICT skills and competence

What is my commitment?
• We ask that you participate fully in the scheme
• We also ask that you provide a key contact from your organisation with responsibility for data management
• You would need to commit to attend up to 6 meetings and provide feedback via focus groups, interviews and questionnaires (the total time commitment is estimated at 20 contact hours)

It is  anticipated the process will last around 6 months. The evidence gathered will be collated and considered and used to design and launch an innovative free product for the third sector that enables charities to cheaply and efficiently manage and track their service provision. This will enable users to provide outcomes and impact information to all their key stakeholders including funders.

However, please note numbers are very limited on this study so please act now!

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The first meeting will be hosted by Iizuka on Tuesday 23rd May 2017, 10 am-12 pm at their new headquarters in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. If you would like to find out more or apply for a place in this study, please call Georgina Watts on 07870 620909 or email

Tipton Library – “For Shakespeare and St George Fun Day”

Tipton Library is holding a “For Shakespeare and St George Fun Day” in honour of the birthday of William Shakespeare and of course St George. It’s a free event for all the family to enjoy with opportunities to get creative with children’s crafts, eat cake or just simply listen to Tipton Community Choir.

The fun day will be held at:

Tipton Library, 17 Unity Walk, Tipton, DY4 8QL on
Saturday 22nd April 10.30am—12.30pm

Activities include:

Free face painting and children’s crafts
Toy sale
Community stalls
A special performance from the Tipton Community Choir
Home-made cakes and refreshments by Sally Gutteridge

For more information on the fun day please contact Tipton Library on 0121 557 1796.

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

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

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

Details of Christmas Challenge 2017 Announced

The Big Give is celebrating its 10th anniversary and to mark the occasion, the Christmas Challenge is set to be on an even bigger scale this year with more match funding available than in previous years.

The Big Give will be running the new and improved model of the Challenge. Extensive charity facing consultation resulted in significant changes being trialled during last year’s campaign. Feedback showed these changes to be incredibly well received and the Big Give will be rolling out these changes for the Christmas Challenge 2017 and beyond.

What has the Big Give improved?
Match funds are ring-fenced for successful charities so that they are not competing with each other for funds. The campaign will also run continuously over seven days meaning that the message is much simpler  for the generous donors who are supporting the participating charities. The 2017 campaign will launch on #GivingTuesday again this year allowing charities to join the national movement of giving and the enhanced PR buzz that was achieved through this partnership.

The Christmas Challenge is the UK’s biggest online match-funding campaign which helps UK-registered charities raise funds for their causes, having raised over £78m since it launched in 2008.

Donations to participating charities are generously matched by Big Give ‘Champions’ (Trusts, Foundations, Philanthropists and Corporates who support the initiative) and charities’ major donors. This year The Coles-Medlock Foundation and The Hospital Saturday Fund join the Champions for the first time. They will provide funding alongside The Reed Foundation, The Childhood Trust and many others who will be confirmed in the coming months.
“We are really pleased to have received such positive feedback following last year’s trial changes”, said Alex Day, Director of the Big Give.

“Overall, 93% of charities who took part in 2016 preferred the new model. They found that the campaign was simpler  to communicate, that donor satisfaction was higher and that they gained more new supporters. As a result, we’re happy to share that we will be continuing to run the campaign using this model and look forward to welcoming lots of charities to the campaign later this year.”

How to get involved?
Charities wishing to participate should register their interest now to ensure they receive important information on the application deadlines.

Source: Charity Digital News

Small Charities Lack Funds to Train Staff

New research launched today into skills gaps in the small charity sector shows small organisations lack the funding to train their workforce in key areas such as IT, working with the private sector and fund development.

The report ‘UK Small Charity Sector Skills Survey’ launched today by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) surveyed 530 people and found skills areas with the poorest performance ratings include: engaging and working with businesses or companies (55%), strategic use of IT (49%), impact reporting (48%) and fundraising, specifically raising funds from major donors (67%), online (66%) and businesses (64%).

Lack of funding for training and development (61%) and lack of time available for employees to attend training (58%) were cited as the primary causes for all skills gaps within their small charity.

The main impacts of skills gaps identified were an increased workload for colleagues (59%), increased time to deliver work (46%) and decreased ability to take on new work (43%).

The report also showed within fundraising, major donor fundraising (67%), online fundraising (66%) and corporate fundraising (64%) were the top three categories in need of most upskilling by small charities.

Fundraisers were cited as the most challenging vacancy to recruit for, according to 28% of small charities surveyed. Salary (36%) was the most commonly cited barrier to why vacancies are hard to fill.

Pauline Broomhead, CEO at the FSI commented: “Our research launched today shows that small charities lack the vital funds they need to develop skills.

“We have four key recommendations from the research. First, that Government and other public funders take the lead by demonstrating long-term commitment to affordable skills development and capacity building. Secondly, that umbrella support bodies invest in delivering high quality and easily accessible learning opportunities that are tailored to a diverse audience of learners. Thirdly, that trustees understand the benefit and make a commitment to funding the development of skills within their organisations for trustees and finally staff and volunteers and that trustees and senior staff actively seek out opportunities to collaborate with one another and by so doing contribute to ensuring their long-term sustainability.

“We hope this survey demonstrates to the Government and other funders the need to support the development of skills across the sector.  It is only with an informed and skilled workforce, both staff and volunteers, that charities will become self-sustaining.”

To read the full report, click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Celebrating Local Charities and Trustees

Trustees’ Week 2016 ran from 7 to 13 November. This annual event was established to celebrate the brilliant work that trustees in the UK do, and this year was no different, with a theme highlighting ‘stronger charities through good leadership’ and almost 100 event listings on for existing trustees as well as anyone looking to become a trustee. The Charity Commission’s first webinar took place during the week and is now available to watch on GOV.UK if you missed it.

The Charity Commission have also been supporting Local Charities Day, a new government initiative that took place on 16 December 2016 to help small, local charities and community groups thrive and demonstrate the great work they do in their areas. Small local charities make up a large proportion of the voluntary sector and this event was a great reminder of where small charities can get support, such as the Foundation for Social Improvement, the Small Charities Coalition, and CFG’s Small Charities Finance Programme.

Trustees’ Week next year will be on 13-17 November 2017, so mark the date in your diary now!

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

Shaping the Future of the Charity Commissions Digital Services

December saw the launch of the Charity Commissions customer digital survey which was created to help them identify ways to improve their range of digital services and make them easier to use. Improving their digital services will also enable them to protect the integrity of the register of charities by displaying key information on charities in a clear and simple way.

The survey asked when you would like the Charity Commission to contact you and in what way, as well as your priorities when contacting the Charity Commission. The survey lasted for 6 weeks, closing on 18 January 2017, receiving 206 responses which will now be analysed and used to inform their digital services plans going forward.

The Charity Commission are continually looking at ways to improve their digital services through workshops and user testing. If you would like to be involved please email your details to

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

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