July 2017

Monthly Archives

The Black Country Impact Programme

The Black Country Impact programme is a fantastic opportunity for young adults, aged 16 to 29, to get a tailor-made package of support to help them move closer to education, work or training.

Do you know of a young adult who?

• is unemployed or economically inactive or NEET (not in education, employment or training)
• lives anywhere in the Black Country
• wants to improve their prospects.

This programme is ideally suited for them.

The European-funded programme ends July 2018. Time is running out. Please help Sandwell Council to get this money spent on Sandwell’s young adults.

To make a referral contact the Think Sandwell Employment team on 0121 569 2099 or email enquiries_recruitment@sandwell.gov.uk


Advice for students getting their exam results this summer

Thousands of students will be getting their GCSEs this Thursday, 24 August. Students who get their exam results this summer can get advice at special sessions with experts.

The council’s Connexions team is running an exam results service on weekdays at the Council House in Freeth Street, Oldbury, between 10 am and 4 pm from Thursday 17 August until Thursday 31 August.

Careers advisers will have plenty of advice on a variety of options including apprenticeships, traineeships, jobs, college courses as well as advice on the university clearing process and help with CVs and interview skills.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for children services Councillor Simon Hackett said: “We know getting exam results can be a bit of an anxious time for students and parents alike, especially if you don’t get the results you are expecting.

“This exam results service is designed to give Sandwell’s young people the best possible start to their careers. With so many options available it’s important to get independent professional advice and guidance.”

To book an appointment, or to speak to a careers adviser, please call 0121 569 2955. Parents and carers are welcome to come along with their child.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Equality Awards – Extra time to submit nominations

Due to popular demand, applicants now have until 15 August to enter the 2017 Sandwell and West Birmingham Equality Awards, which champion the support given to vulnerable people in Sandwell and West Birmingham.

The diversity of Sandwell and West Birmingham’s population is one of the area’s unique selling points.

The awards have been held annually since 2015. They recognise and celebrate work undertaken by local, groups and organisations to address inequalities in health and well-being.

Every year, the Equality Awards draw attention to a specific area of health and well-being, which is undergoing a significant transformation. The theme of this year’s event is learning disabilities.

The Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday 2 November.

For further details including how to nominate, guidance notes and various different versions of the nomination form, visit the CCG’s website.


Charities: Subject Access Requests and the GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force 25 May 2018 and will introduce the greatest changes to data protection legislation in over 30 years. In this blog Val Surgenor, charity law specialist at MacRoberts LLP, looks at subject access requests (SARs) under the GDPR and what changes this will bring. There is less than a year to go now before the GDPR comes into force, therefore you should act now to make sure you are GDPR compliant!

What is a SAR?
A SAR is a request for personal information that your Charity may hold about a data subject i.e. an individual. If an individual wishes to exercise their subject access right, the request must be made in writing. The purpose of a SAR is to make individuals aware of and allow them to verify the lawfulness of processing of their personal data. Under the GDPR and the current Data Protection Act (DPA), individuals have the right to obtain confirmation as to whether personal data about them is being processed by your Charity. If personal information is being processed, they are entitled to access:

• the reasons why their data is being processed
• the description of the personal data concerning them
• information about anyone who has received or will receive their personal data
• details of the origin of their data if it was not collected from them

Charities need to be mindful that the rules on subject access apply to any individual.  Charities are likely to hold and process personal data about its trustees; its employees; service users; members; donors, volunteers and many others.  Each category will have the same access rights.

Key Changes to SARs under GDPR
Under the GDPR, the procedure for making a SAR is similar to the procedure under the DPA. However there are some key changes your Charity needs to be aware of which may require you to make changes to Charity’s procedures:

• Fees:
Under the DPA, your organisation can charge up to £10 for a SAR. Under the GDPR, a request for personal information is free unless the request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive.’ Your organisation can charge a ‘reasonable fee’ for multiple requests.

Impact: This may have a significant effect on your organisation where you receive large volumes of requests and this may result in an increase in administrative costs on your organisation. At present there is insufficient guidance on what is meant by “manifestly unfounded or excessive” and therefore your organisation should approach this with some caution.

It should also be recognised that the £10 fee may have acted in the past as an impediment to making a request and as a result charities may see an increase in requests as a result.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Black Country ESF Community Grants Fund 2016-2018

ESF Community Grants are part of the European Social Fund (ESF) Programme which is distributing £900,000 in small grants in the Black Country region between 2016 and 2018. The aim of the fund is to engage with local communities to deliver a range of skills and employment support activities to enable people from the hardest to reach communities, experiencing multiple disadvantages, to make progress towards the labour market.

Group’s can apply for grants of between £5,000 and £10,000. Grant funding of £900,000 will be available over the lifetime of the programme.

What is the funding for?
Any activity that will help an individual’s progress towards employment and improve employability skills will be considered: examples include:

  • Taster sessions
  • Informal or non-accredited learning
  • Volunteering and work experience placements
  • Job search assistance
  • Softer skills, confidence building and personal development.

Projects can range in length from a few weeks to a maximum of six months. Your project can not go ahead until your grant agreement is signed off.

Which organisations can apply for funding?
The programme is designed to assist small charities, a community group or not-for-profit organisation based in and providing services in the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership area (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton). Eligible applicants must –

  • Have an annual turnover of less than £150,000.
  • Employ no more than 9 full-time equivalent (FTE) paid members of staff.
  • Not be in receipt of direct funding from the SFA or the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
  • Be established and based locally and provide services in the Black Country.
  • Have a written constitution, or set of rules, which has been formally adopted and confirm your eligibility to apply.
  • Have a bank account in the organisation name with a minimum of two signatories.
  • Have a Health and Safety Policy in place.
  • Have an Equality and Diversity Policy in place.

General eligibility requirements are set out in the European Social Fund Programme for England 2014-2020 National Eligibility Rules which can be accessed by clicking here.

What can the grant be spent on?
Grants can only fund a discrete piece of activity. The grant should meet all of the costs of delivering that project, staff costs, resources, small items of equipment required for the delivery, premises costs associated with delivery and costs incurred to support participants e.g. travel costs or childcare costs.

How do I apply?
This will be a rolling programme with no deadlines.

For an application pack send an email to communitygrants@walsall.gov.uk

For more details on this grant go to BCTA’s website by clicking here.

Lloyds Bank Foundation (‘Invest’ Programme)

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales, which provides funding to charities for projects to help people break their cycle of disadvantage, has announced that its “Invest” grants programme will re-open for applications on the 29th August 2017 and will close on the 22nd September 2017.

“Invest” is a flexible, long term core funding programme for charities helping disadvantaged people. Invest grants are from £10,000 up to maximum of £25,000 per year for two or three years, with the opportunity for continuation funding for a further period – up to six years in total. Invest grants fund core running costs such as rent, heating, lighting and management costs etc, as well as project delivery costs such as salaries, recruitment, volunteer expense and training, etc.

The Foundation also runs a smaller “Enable” programme which provides grants of up to £15,000 for up to 2 years for activities relating to organisational development such as leadership and governance, improved systems and demonstrating outcomes.
Applications to the “Enable” programme can be made at any time.

More information

AB Charitable Trust

The A B Charitable Trust (ABCT) has announced that the next deadline for applications in the 15 September 2017. ABCT awards grants to UK-registered charities that seek to promote and defend human dignity and human rights.

The Trust is particularly focussed on charities supporting unpopular causes reaching the most vulnerable and marginalised in society, for example, prisoners and penal reform; migrants, refugees and asylum seekers; human rights, particularly access to justice. The Trust generally makes one-off grants to charities registered and working in the UK with annual incomes of between £150,000 and £1.5m that do not have substantial investments or surpluses. Grants range in size, with most grants awarded being in the range £10,000 to £20,000.

ABCT does not normally fund charities with large national or international links. Apply online following the guidelines supplied on the website.

Click here for further information

New media engagement: Guidance from the Commission on the Donor Experience

The Commission on the Donor Experience has published a highly detailed report that includes 526 recommendations to improve the relationship between charities and donors.

The report is the result of an 18-month project involving numerous stakeholders from across the third sector, as well as the general public.

“Our research shows that profound change is needed and that charities need to give supporters genuine choices,” said Sir Martyn Lewis, chair of the commission, on the report’s launch. “It is time we stopped thinking about what not to do, and started thinking about what to do better, ensuring that donors feel really great about their giving. “That is why the commission is making this call to action to charities and asking them to think seriously about the promise they can make to donors.”

Digital focus
One of the many areas looked at in the report is how charities can use new media to grow engagement and loyalty with donors – with some excellent guidance put forward.

The relevant chapter in the report argues that fundraising and engagement via digital and mobile communications channels offer numerous ways for charities to speak to supporters and prospective supporters about the great work your charity does. Through rich and interactive content you can tell stories directly to the people that matter, who sustain your organisation and beneficiaries.

There are a number of low-cost, practical steps you can take detailed in this paper to drastically improve your supporter’s experience of your organisation online. The possibilities of fundraising through online engagement change rapidly so you should constantly review and improve your objectives, goals and infrastructure in this area. Learn from your supporters, peers and the world around you.

Here’s a snapshot of the guidance published, which is intended to provide highly practical steps you can take within your organisation to improve your supporters online experience and to increase your reach to prospective audiences:

To read the Charity Digital News full article click here

Charities Lose Vital Donations Through Social Class Marketing Failures

 Marketing failures are costing charities large amounts in vital donations, according to DaHee Han, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, because they do not tailor their campaigns to individual social classes.

Fundraising ads fail to consider the motivations of potential donors, and so are unable to appeal to them.

Alongside colleagues Ashok K. Lalwani and Adam Duhachek, Han examined how people’s perception of their place in the social hierarchy and the degree to which they accept the hierarchy or inequality in the society affect their charitable giving.

Han says: “Although logic would suggest that those who perceive themselves as higher in the social hierarchy would be more likely to donate to charity, our research suggested the opposite. In fact, we found that people who consider themselves to be on lower societal levels are more inclined to give charitably in order to endorse societal equality. This is because those who find themselves lower down in the pyramid are more concerned about others and thus are more motivated to help the less fortunate.

“Those at the top of the pyramid are less likely to help others because they already have the freedom and abilities to pursue the goals they value. These factors make them believe that those who find themselves lower down in the pyramid do not take advantages of the opportunities to improve their lot, leading people with high power to value their personal benefits.”

In order to increase donations, fund-raising advertising campaigns must be targeted properly at these demographics.

Han says: “For those who perceive themselves to be lower in the social hierarchy, endorse equality in the society, and are more inclined towards empathy for those around them, fund-raising adverts that ask the reader to ‘help make the community a better place’ will resonate well. These calls to action emphasise the mutual gains charity can accomplish, and will attract a potential donor.”

“Yet for those who perceive themselves to have power, endorse equality in the society, and are more concerned about personal interests, emphasising the benefits to their own self will be most effective. Campaigns that suggest how you will ‘feel good for giving’ or similar messages are likely to resonate well. In this way, advertising must be targeted in order to maximise results from donors with differing motivations.”

Source: Charity Digital News

New Code Says Large Charities Need Governance Review Every Three Years

The Charity Governance Code, published 13th July 2017, replaces the Code of Good Governance.

Larger charities will be expected to submit to external governance reviews every three years under the new Charity Governance Code, published today.

The revised code, previously called the Code of Good Governance, was put out for consultation between November and February after its first overhaul since 2010 and is available in two versions: one with guidance for large charities and another tailored to the needs of smaller charities.

The new code requires charities to consider mergers with other organisations that have the same aims and says they should impose a nine-year maximum term on trustees unless there is a good reason not to. Both of these measures appeared in the draft version of the guidance.

The final version also calls on trustees to publish on their charity’s website and in its annual report the amount paid to senior staff and the process for setting pay.

The new code will, in effect, replace the Charity Commission’s Hallmarks of an Effective Charity guidance, which the regulator withdrew as a gesture of support for the code and to encourage charities to use it.

Rosie Chapman, chair of the steering group developing the code, told Third Sector that the final version of the code had been altered to include elements of the commission’s defunct guidance that were not in the consultation version.

She said the code’s recommendations had also been “beefed up”, and now called for charities to go above and beyond the legal minimum in ensuring diversity.

The new version of the code, Chapman said, was “as much about behaviours as it is about mechanical practices, but it also has some clear suggestions of what good practice looks like”.

But she said she believed the code should be reviewed much more frequently than it had been in the past.
The bodies involved in developing it welcomed the code, saying it was important for charities to focus on governance and the new code would help them do it.

Sarah Atkinson, director of policy and communications at the Charity Commission, said: “The Charity Governance Code represents a standard of good governance practice to which all charities should aspire. We encourage all charities to use it, following and applying its principles proportionately to their circumstances.”

“It’s also important for boards not just to assess and understand impact, but to take appropriate action on the basis of the findings.

Source: Third Sector

Page 1 of 9123...Last