Libby Mahoney

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Dorothy Parkes Community Centre Jumble Sale

Come and join Dorothy Parkes Community Centre for a good old fashioned rumble in the jumble sale at the Centre on Saturday 26th January 2019. Stall holders will be selling clothes, toys & bric-a-brac at bargain prices.

The Centre will have some tables selling donated goods with all proceeds going to the Centre to support their community activities. We are accepting donations of clothes, toys & bric-a-brac.

Please note that doors will open at 2pm and close at 4pm.

There are a limited number of tables for sale and they are selling fast (priced at £7.50). Please complete their online booking form and make payment via their website – https://www.dorothyparkes.org/Event/jumble-sale

If you’d like to find out more contact the Dorothy Parkes Centre on 0121 558 2998 for more details.


Check the Financial Information in Your Annual Return

The Charity Commission recently checked the accuracy of the annual return figures for 3 different sizes of charity, each sample having just over 100 organisations in them.

They found that:

  • 89% of charities with incomes over £25,000 reported accurate income and expenditure figures in their annual returns, compared with just over 60% for charities below the accounts filing threshold for most charities of £25,000
  • just over 80% of charities with incomes over £500,000 reported accurate income and/or expenditure analyses, compared with more than 95% for their balance sheet and charitable funds analyses

Input error (picking the wrong figures out of the accounts) appeared to be the most common reason for inaccurate annual return figures.

To avoid this happening make sure that a person who is familiar with the charity accounts checks the financial information you’ll submit in your annual return.

All the recent charity accounts monitoring reviews are available on their website.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter


Safeguarding Duties for Trustees

Safeguarding is a key governance priority for all trustees, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.

You should read the guidance about safeguarding duties for charity trustees.

We advise you to carry out a thorough review of your charity’s safeguarding governance and management arrangements and performance, if you haven’t done in the last 12 months.

It is also important that you contact us about any safeguarding issues, or serious safeguarding incidents, complaints or allegations which have not previously been reported to us.

Find more about what and how to report to the Charity Commission.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter


The 5 Digital Skills To Look For In Your Next Trustee

A key maxim of the Charity Digital Code of Practice is that making the most of digital is not about tools and technical understanding anymore – it’s a governance mindset. Charity leaders need to be confident in how digital can help their charities achieve their goals if they want their organisations to be relevant and sustainable.

Charity Digital News grabbed Zoe Amar, non-profit digital guru and Chair of the Code, who explained the five digital skills that every charity’s trustees and boards should to be able to demonstrate.

1- An understanding of the changes that emerging technology brings

You’ve probably seen the headlines that one in five jobs could be disrupted by automation by 2030. It’s a startling figure and one that all kinds of organisations need to be prepared for, and understand what it will mean for traditional ways of operating.

“Trustees need a good understanding of how emerging technology could disrupt their charity’s business model,” says Amar. “We don’t quite know what this brave new world’s going to look like, but I think an optimistic scenario is that people are released from the burden of doing too much routine work and are actually able to focus on the aspects of the job they’re really passionate about.”

“So what does that mean about the sort of skills that you look for and train people for? Because what we also know about automation is that skills like lateral thinking and emotional intelligence are going to become absolutely paramount as that’s something that is going to be very hard for robots to do.”

2- Data-driven decision making

Handling and analysing data is a significant skills gap in a lot of organisations, according to the latest Charity Digital Skills Report, with 62% of charities rating themselves as fair to low in that area. Could charity trustees take the lead?

“I was talking to someone from a charity at a conference who had just developed a new website and their trustees had got absolutely fixated on one particular idea, assuming that beneficiaries will use the website in this way, but they didn’t have the data to back it up,” says Amar. “So the first thing a charity trustee must ask is the very simple question of ‘am I actually using data to make meaningful decisions?’”

“For example, when I say these things about how our stakeholders behave or what they want or need, can I point to the data which backs that up? Am I using data to stress test my assumptions about people? What’s it telling us and what’s it not telling us? That’s a sign that you’re really starting to think about the value of data to make decisions.”

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.


If We Don’t Support Small, Small Can’t Support Us

Lizzie Walmsley, head of communications at the Small Charities Coalition, argues that smaller charities deserve more support.

97 per cent of charities have an income of less than £1m, but they share 20 per cent of the money that goes to the sector

I probably quote this statistic at least 10 times a week. I tell stakeholders who tell me that there’s a problem with trust in the sector, small charities who think they’re alone and sometimes I mention it on Twitter. As the editor of this publication highlighted, I’m actually wrong. This is a statistic used for ease but the truth is, with an estimated 200,000 unregistered “micro charities” in the UK, the figure is more like 99 per cent.

You could make the argument that this statistic is used to show that small charities should grow their income and become ‘big’. But that is not my intention or why I make myself sound like a parrot week after week.

74 per cent of charities in England and Wales turn over less than £100,000. As a helpful tweeter calculated, even if you took the 123,230 charities in England and Wales who have an income of £100,000 or less and gave them each a £50,000 gift, there would be an additional £6bn between them and yet they would all still be small.

I work for the Small Charities Coalition, a membership organisation representing over 9,000 small charities, not only giving them greater representation, but also providing a number of vital services including a support line, training and mentoring. I’m incredibly proud to champion the work of all small charities, registered and unregistered, across the country.

I am also supportive of our member’s growth ambitions – some are the perfect size for what they want to achieve and their ambitions are to maintain their small but vital purpose. Some want to grow slightly bigger, others want to merge with bigger organisations, many just want to be financially stronger and a minority have huge growth goals that they will one day no longer be small. They’re all part of the ecology of the rich civil society in which they exist.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Civil Society


Small Charity Bosses Reveal Digital Fears

A survey by Weston Charity Awards reveals concerns about digital issues among small charity bosses.

A third of small charity leaders say that dealing with digital upgrades and IT problems are among the key challenges they face over the coming year.

A survey of 371 heads of small charities found that 33% listed ‘major IT upgrades and failures’ as a key challenge they are set to face in 2019.

This was the fourth most mentioned challenge behind setting up a new partnership (34%), recruiting for a key role (37%) and the top rated challenge, of dealing with new regulations.

Weston Charity Awards, which compiled the survey, says it was “little surprise” to see regulation feature so highly as a concern given the this year’s live date for General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), governing how organisations collect and data.

Digital skills in demand

Improving IT and digital skills is among the top five skills sought by small charity bosses, the survey also found.

This was mentioned by 38% of those surveyed, with 57% looking for fundraising expertise and 51% seeking skills in building partnerships with the commercial sector.

Other skills in demand include branding and communication, mentioned by 38%, and strategy development, cited by 24%.

Weston Charity Awards is run by Garfield Weston Foundation with Pilotlight and is open to charities with an income under £5m in the North of England, Midlands and Wales.

Each of the 20 winning charities gain a year of leadership coaching through Pilotlight and £6,500 in unrestricted funding.

“Small charity leaders are under enormous pressure to steer their organisations through uncertain times,” said Philippa Charles, Director of Garfield Weston Foundation.

“We are delighted to support those showing enormous creativity and resilience through these Awards and to help them reach their goals.”

Source: Charity Digital News


Charities Putting Kindness at the Heart of Campaigns

For many people, ‘doing their bit for charity’ is a simple case of setting up a standing order or putting some spare change into a collection tin.

Of course, monetary donations such as these are always gratefully received, but many charities are also starting to ask their donors for something different. Instead of just asking for financial gifts, they have been encouraging people to donate acts of kindness.

Whether it is passing on beloved old clothes or toys to those less fortunate, sending used Christmas cards to be recycled into new ones, or carrying out an everyday gesture of goodwill, acts of kindness can foster a real sense of purpose – bringing donors and benefactors closer together.

Over the past few years, there have been many innovative and inspiring kindness campaigns. Here, we take a closer look at some examples.

The Bike Project

The Bike Project is a small, London-based charity that refurbishes donated bicycles and distributes them to asylum seekers and refugees. Since its creation in 2013, it has given out more than 4,000 bikes.

For Giving Tuesday in 2018, the charity provided its beneficiaries with a little extra. Marketing Manager Anna Chapman explains: “We decided to join in with Giving Tuesday in a different way this year. Rather than asking for donations, we encouraged people to write seasonal cards that could be handed out with our bikes.

“We felt that sharing personal messages of welcome would enable our supporters to better connect with our beneficiaries. A lot of the work we do is about community, and a simple act of kindness can mean a lot to the people we support.”

The campaign was a huge success. “We were delighted with the response we received,” says Anna. “We put the call out via our social media channels using an eye-catching image. Lots of people got in touch saying they were going to take part, and it created a real buzz online. We plan to give out [the greeting cards] with our bikes at upcoming bike donation sessions.”

Women in Prison

In 2017, the charity Women in Prison asked people to send in the front page of their used Christmas cards. The idea was that prisoners could recycle these into cards and decorations for children in the run-up to Christmas.

A call-out on Twitter went viral, and was even retweeted by Hollywood stars Cher and Bette Midler. As a result, Women in Prison received more than 5,000 cards. “People included lovely messages of support alongside the cards,” said a spokesperson for the charity. “It was a highly inspiring and warming experience.”

In fact, so popular was the campaign, that the charity had enough cards left over to distribute this Christmas. So, instead of asking for more, it is asking people to donate the postage they would have spent on sending them. To facilitate this, it has created an online platform.

To read the full Zurich article click here.


Near Neighbours February Training

Near Neighbours have three training days running in February at the low cost of £5 per day with lunch included, designed with faith groups in mind but is also relevant for those working with community organisation and charities.

All of the workshops are supported by a wealth of tools, examples and written resources that participants can take away for use in their project.

Please email ruth.burgess@tctogether.org.uk for details on how to book.

Fundamentals of Fundraising

Thursday 7th Feb 9:30am to 3:30pm
Frank F Harrison Community Association
Cost: £5 (lunch included)

Develop Confidence & Skills in Fundraising for Faith Based Social & Community Action.
This training will look at sources of funding for faith based groups, how to apply, how to develop application information and how to fund-raise.

Click here to book your place.

Faithful Applications

Thursday 14th Feb 9:30am to 3:30pm
Frank F Harrison Community Association
Cost: £5 (lunch included)

Making Grant Applications for Social Action in Faith Based Organisations

This session will cover:
– Writing Techniques & Formats
– The Writing You Need Before Applying
– Writing The Application

Click here to book your place.

Faithful Organisation: Governance Training

Thursday 28th Feb 9:30am to 1pm
Frank F Harrison Community Association
Cost: £5 (lunch included)

The roles and responsibilities of Trustees, Directors. Committees, Staff, Volunteers and Membership in the Governance of Faith Based Community Organisations and Places of Worship.

A half day workshop that will explore topics of interest including:
• What is an Accountable Body
• Understanding Organisational Language
• Choosing a Legal Structure
• The Charitable Context
• Ensuring Trust & Credibility
• Why Risk Management
• Showing Who’s Involved
• Visionary Thinking
• Operational Planning
• Policy & Procedure
• The Good Committee
• Clear Budgeting
• Involving and Sharing Work

Supported by examples and good practice handouts using real life experience of national and local situations from a wide range of organisations and communities.

Click here to book your place.

Source: Near Neighbours


Recognising and Reporting Serious Incidents – Free Workshop

The Association of Chairs in partnership with the Charity Commission are holding a half day free workshop on recognising and reporting serious incidents – what you need to know.

The workshop will be held on Thursday 14th February 2019, 1.30pm at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 6 Centenary Square, Birmingham, B1 2EP. Why not go along to test your knowledge about fraud and safeguarding and to learn how to recognise when an incident is serious and what you must do to report it.

The aim of the workshop is to provide an opportunity to hear about the way in which the Charity Commission views serious incidents and how they handle the reports which are made to them. This is about helping you understand the reasons for reporting a serious incident in your charity.

Whilst the circumstances of incidents vary in type and in the impact they have, Chairs and trustees can work to limit the likelihood of an incident happening and to minimise the impact on the charity when they do.

They will take a closer look at fraud and safeguarding as these are areas where serious incidents are most common.

Representatives of the Charity Commission will talk to us about their approach to these issues and lead group discussions on the issues.

To book your place or for more information click here.

See also: Reporting and avoiding serious incidents – blog post.

Source: Association of Chairs


Risk Management Guide for small Charities Launches

An online guide has been created to help small charities manage risk and better understand issues such as data protection.

The Charity & Community Help Hub has been launched by third sector specialist online insurance broker PolicyBee and signposts useful information on issues including health and safety and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Managing staff and volunteers, fundraising, good governance as well as trustee and director issues are also covered.

According to a survey commissioned by PolicyBee, one in ten small charities either don’t have or are unsure whether they have risk management measures in place.

Less than a half (47%) are only partially confident they are able to identify and assess risks in their organisations.

Barriers to effective risk management

Barriers to effectively manage risk include lack of time, cited by 64% of respondents. Lack of funds (52%) and lack of expertise (39%), were other barriers mentioned.

In addition, the small charities survey found that six out of ten (62%) had not had risk and governance training.

“At a time when the charities sector as a whole is under increasing scrutiny, the lack of funding and resources among small charities is leading to shortfalls in risk management,” said PolicyBee Head of Marketing.

“This puts many in danger of sleepwalking into a governance and compliance crisis.”

She added: “The requirement for good governance applies equally to charities of all sizes but external advice can be difficult to access for small charities. Some don’t know where to go, or that advice is even available.

“And some don’t have the confidence to engage. While some organisations may be fortunate enough to have experienced trustees, many will not, leaving them poorly equipped to identify and deploy the measures required to protect both the individuals within an organisation and the organisation itself.”

Source: Charity Digital News


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