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Hateley Cross Good News Story

Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership group in December 2018 supported the 3 primary schools Hall Green, Hateley Heath and St John Bosco Catholic in our areas of Hateley Heath and Stone Cross, West Bromwich with funding for Inspired People and Environmental Grant.

Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership group wanted to ensure that young people aspirations raised, involved with their communities, feel valued and there are reasons [and places] for people to come together. A three year funding application was created for local primary schools to apply for.

In the matter of weeks, St John Bosco Primary School has turned the funding into reality with the fantastic work of Deputy Headteacher Mandy Grubham.

Hateley Cross Big Local joined Governors and competition winners, who created book marks, from St John Bosco in January 2019 to officially open the new library in the school. Hateley Cross Big Local funding allowed for books to be purchased and fill the shelves of the library allowing for the Inspiration Grant to be fulfilled in the school.

For further information please contact Marc Pearson, Community Development Outreach Worker – 0121 544 1230 or e-mail marc@scips.org.uk


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


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


What do you think? Your views needed on new EU exit information website

Leaving the EU means a number of changes that will affect organisations and individual citizens. The Government has developed a website gov.uk/euexit to give information on how to prepare and the steps organisations and individuals may need to take.

We are really keen to get some initial feedback on the quality and user-friendliness of the content. Please record your feedback in this two minute survey, your views on the website will influence any improvements, so a swift response would be appreciated. Please feel free to skip any questions that you do not feel apply to your organisation.

We are keen to hear from civil society organisations and those that work with them to make sure that the information on the website information reflects your needs.

Thank you for your support.

If you have any questions, please contact Ruth Verrall (ruth.verrall@cabinetoffice.gov.uk) at the Cabinet Office.


2019 National Campaigner Awards

Each year, the Sheila Mckechnie foundation celebrates the best campaigns and campaigners – whether working locally or nationally, and from individuals and community groups to people working in large organisations.

The Foundation would like to find those who have made change happen – most effectively, creatively and courageously. So, if you know someone or an organisation who you think deserves to be celebrated, please do nominate them. You can also nominate yourself!

Details
Winners will receive their award at a fantastic evening ceremony in central London, on Wednesday 27th March 2019. To find out more and to nominate please visit: http://smk.org.uk/national-campaigner-awards/.

There are no fees associates with these Awards, it is free to nominate and attend!


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.


GDPR / Data protection workshop for Voluntary and Community Groups

As you will all be aware, GDPR regulations came into force in May 2018.   Organisations and individuals who handle or process personal data have received training on how to ensure that they fully comply with the new regulations. However, some organisations may have new employees who have not have received the training.

Murray Hall Community Trust have developed a training workshop which can ensure your staff have all the information they need.  The course takes place on Wednesday, 23 January 2019: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Please see the attached information and booking form if you would like to book a place.


Charities Welcome Call for Digital Wills System

Government body looking at reducing tax complexity is calling for the creation of a digital system to better manage inheritance tax and will making.

The government should create a digital system for inheritance tax and will management, according to the Treasury office tasked with reducing complexities in the tax system.

The Office of Tax Simplification’s first report from its review of inheritance tax says that the management of wills would be made easier with a “fully integrated digital system for inheritance tax” put in place.

This should “ideally include the ability to complete and submit a probate application” adds the report, which adds that “regulating the will writing market would help improve the administration process”.

Remember a Charity, a partnership of around 200 charities, has welcomed the report and backed its calls to make the management of estates and legacy donations easier.

“Ultimately, a more straight-forward inheritance tax system should make it easier for people’s estates to be handled promptly, efficiently and for relevant discounts or exemptions on charitable wills to be applied,” said Remember a Charity director Rob Cope.

“We welcome steps to reduce the administrative burden for everyone; the public, professional advisers and executors, which of course includes many charities too.

Need for clear and consistent processes

He added: “The need for clear and consistent processes has never been greater. The public needs to have choice about who and what they support from their will and the confidence to ensure that their final wishes will indeed be met.”

“With both the national Inheritance Tax structure and will-writing framework currently under review, the devil will be in the detail of future announcements as to whether the fiscal incentives will be maintained and how will-writing processes may evolve. We continue to appeal to government representatives to ensure that any changes will continue to encourage and promote charitable legacies.”

According to Remember A Charity legacy gifts contribute the largest single source of voluntary income to the charity sector, generating around £3bn for good causes each year.

Source: Charity Digital News


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