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Company Secretary required at The GAP Centre

The GAP Christian Family Centre is a friendly community centre in Hargate Lane, West Bromwich, from which many services are run.  The Centre is seeking to recruit a Company Secretary.

This is primarily an administrative role. You will organise the agenda for Directors’ meetings, take minutes and ensure all relevant compliance information is accurately maintained, and action points followed up. One of your main tasks will be to support the Chair, as you make sure the Board of Directors conducts itself professionally and effectively and provide sound governance of the Charity.

To see the person spec and a comprehensive list of the main responsibilities, click here. Interested? Please email Les Trumpeter on l_trumpeter@hotmail.com.

This is a voluntary position with expenses paid, where required.


Free GDPR Guidance Gets an Update

The Institute of Fundraising has updated its free guidance around General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.

The updated version of GDPR: The Essentials for Fundraising Organisations, includes the latest tips and advice since the guide was first published in May 2017 (a year before the EU data protection law went live).

Included in the updated version is information on minimising data protection risks as well as advice on appointing a data protection officer.

Top Tips

According to IoF Policy and Information Officer Sam Boyle it also includes “all new top tips on how to assess whether you have a legitimate interest in carrying out direct marketing under GDPR.”

Boyle said: “First of all, don’t worry, this is not a fundamental rewrite! The basics are still the same – this update is about tweaking, including latest thinking, and providing some more tips and advice.”

“No piece of guidance will be able to answer every single question that fundraisers might have, but we hope that it is the best ‘starting point’ for helping your charity get things right and a jumping off point to dive into areas in more depth.”

The IoF is anticipating that a further refresh will be required at a later date to ensure it remains relevant as new data protection issues, such as e-privacy, emerge.

Source: Charity Digital News


Free Guide to Encourage Charity Innovation

Non-profit sector tech experts have come together to offer advice to charities in a guide on how best to use technology and digital to drive innovation.

The Innovation Guide has been made available online by CharityComms, which represents charity communiations specialists, and includes sections on new fundraising tools and practices as well as the role of digital and technology in innovation.

An ‘It’s so shiny! The role of digital and tech in innovation’ section features practical advice from, among others, Rob Leyland, Innovation Manager at Cancer Research UK.

He explains the importance of using existing technology to experiment with new ideas.

An example he gives is work by Cancer Research UK to test the potential popularity of voice enabled devices to keep donors updated about the work of the charity.

For this the charity utlisied its existing news app on Amazon Alexa and online donation conformation webpage to test if people were interested.

“As it happened, less than 1% of the page traffic took up the offer to get our voice skill — so we knew that, for the moment at least, it was pretty much a non-starter,” says Leyland.

Also contributing is Si Muddell, digital engagement strategy director at Scope. He explains how digital has driven innovation in the charity sector over the last decade from “both a technological persepective and marketing perspective”.

He adds: “Developing products is substantially easier, quicker, and less expensive to do. There are so many tools for creating prototypes. Likewise, reaching audiences for feedback and smoke testing potential products is becoming amazingly simple and cost effective.

“Plus, everything we do digitally can be tracked giving us data insights to feed into product development.”

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News


Free Guide to Improve Trustee Recruitment

A free guide has been made available online to help charities effectively recruit trustees.

Community leadership charity Getting on Board has made the guide available to download via its website to provide a practical toolkit to running effective and open trustee recruitment drives.

According to Getting on Board, 90% of charities say they recruit trustees by word of mouth.

A more open recruitment system would help ensure charities choose from the best candidates and improve diversity, says Getting on Board. It cites latest research that shows men outnumber women 2:1 on trustee boards, the average trustee is 57-years-old and only 41% of trustee boards represent the communities their charities work in.

Getting on Board has piloted the guide among charities looking for new trustees. Those that took part say that their strengthened boards feel more confident in meeting organisational challenges and 65% said their boards are more diverse.

“By giving charities the tools they need to effectively recruit and support trustees, we hope to create a system where charities are robust, and charity boards are best equipped to face the challenges of today and the future,” said Getting on Board Chief Executive Officer Penny Wilson.

“This guidance is part of our commitment to provide those tools, and to share our learning as widely as we are able.”

Assessing skills gaps

Issues covered in the guide include assessing skills gaps in trustee boards, effective advertisement and developing meaningful inductions for a new trustee. The guide also includes checklists and mapping skills guides for those looking to diversify or grow their trustee board.

Getting on Board said the guide is likely to be particularly useful to smaller charities looking to conduct an open trustee recruitment drive for the first time.

Source: Charity Digital News

 

 


Eaten by A Bear – The Art of Balancing Risk and Reward

As an organisation, how do you manage risk in your fundraising activities? Do you focus on financial or reputational risk, or both, or other things too? Do you keep going until you’ve eliminated every possible risk from your plans? If so, are your activities still worth doing by the end?

I recently popped along to the Arnolfini for the latest Bristol Fundraising Group talk about risk management in fundraising. The speaker was the excellent Ed Wyatt, an experienced Compliance Manager for multiple big charities and long-time fundraiser and trustee. Ed has kindly given us permission to share some key learning points here…

The Problem

Conversations about risk in fundraising can be frustrating and unproductive. It can feel like natural risk-takers and risk-averse people are speaking entirely alien languages, and often the loudest voice in the room wins.

This can have several consequences:
In their bid to find The Next Big Thing in fundraising, some organisations instead stumble into The Next Big Headache.
Being too risk-averse can dilute promising fundraising ideas until they’re perfectly safe but no longer appealing or profitable enough to be worth doing.

In trying to avoid risk, it’s easy to inadvertently take the biggest risk of all – stagnating in a tough fundraising climate, then hitting financial difficulties as your safer income streams dry up.

To read the full Lime Green Consulting blog click here.

Source: Lime Green Consulting


Charity Trustee IT Skills Dropping

Tech Trust’s 2019 annual whitepaper reveals the biggest charity sector tech trends – and how digital can help narrow the divide between the charities improving their impact and those in danger of being left behind.

Tech Trust’s annual whitepaper report has revealed that 40% of charities consider their trustees’ IT competence ‘below average’ – a significant increase from last year’s 29%.

The second annual cross-sector survey on digital also shows that there has been an increase in the number of charity trustees who rate their own skills with IT as ‘below average’ – 33%, up from just 20% last year.

Given the key role of charity leaders and trustees in enabling digital change in their charities, the report warns that a skills gap like this could put many charities behind.

Many charities are improving in lots of other ways, such as in their use of the cloud to drive efficiency and their ability to defend against cyber attacks.

But the divide is widening between the charities making the most of digital to drive their missions – and those who are at the other end of the spectrum whose ability to achieve impact faces uncertainty.

The whitepaper ‘The Charity Digital Spectrum: How all charities can go further with digital’ reveals these trends and many more and is packed full of practical takeaways and actions – it is free for charities to download.

Source: Charity Digital News


Free Digital Tool to Support Charity Commission Registration

A new tool is aimed at small charities who feel overwhelmed by the Charity Commission registration process.

A free digital tool has been launched to help small charities register with the Charity Commission.

The charitysetup tool has been developed by the Small Charities Coalition, the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST) and development agency Super Being Labs.

It has been created after research among small charities by the coalition found that many find the registration process difficult and feel overwhelmed with the technical information and jargon involved.

Currently 44% of the Small Charities Coalition’s support line queries are about setting up a charity with the regulator.

Angela Style, Interim Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition, said: “Our members tell us every day that the current guidelines, although thorough, are not always written with small charities in mind, especially charities who are time and cash strapped.

“By listening and responding to our members, we hope the first version of charitysetup will be just the beginning of what this new resource can offer.”

The tool aims to guide people through the registration process in a clear and conscie way and it is anticipated that around 1,500 charities that register could use it each year.

James Richards, Fuse Product Lead at CAST, said: “When we started working with the Small Charities Coalition it was clear that by focusing on insights from their members, we’d have the very best chance of discovering what small charities really needed. charitysetup is a significant step towards this.

“It will help define and test different approaches to providing the advice and support that people need as they consider their charity choices. We’re excited to see how small charities interact with the advice and support.”

Source: Charity Digital News


The Six Characteristics of Resilient Charities

Measuring resilience in charities is a challenge. In reality, whether a charity is resilient can be known only in the future, and only when a charity faces difficult or changing times.

But what does a resilient charity look like? Through CAF’s work with charities they have noticed six characteristics that show an organisation has the potential to be resilient.

PURPOSE

Understand what your purpose is, and just as importantly what it isn’t.

When funding is such a challenge and when public bodies are using charities to deliver their mission, you can easily find you are allowing external bodies to dictate your organisation’s direction. While funding is important, it’s vital that you have a clear mission and evaluate all opportunities against this.

CAF worked on this with one charity in particular, whose work felt very disjointed. They could tell them what they did, but not what they were trying to achieve. This is a situation you need to avoid.

In CAF’s experience, a theory of change workshop can be extremely valuable in galvanising an organisation’s focus on their resilience. It allows shared time for everyone to focus on the bigger picture.

AWARENESS

Awareness of the political, economic, local and national context you work in, regularly horizon scanning for challenges, threats and opportunities.

In many parts of the UK, the local voluntary sector landscape has changed significantly in the last decade. It’s important to spend time researching who else is out there. If your information is out of date it will impact your delivery.

An example of this is a charity that CAF worked with recently that supports young parents. The staff had understandably been too busy with vital delivery to spend time looking at who else is working in this space. However when they did, they quickly realised that many of the charities and projects they knew of had significantly shrunk, closed or widened their beneficiary group beyond young parent families.

This surprised the charity. They realised they are now the largest UK charity focused solely on this client group. They became aware of risks and opportunities they had not previously seen.

To read the full Third Sector article click here.


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


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