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BULLETIN No. 174: May/June 2018

My monthly attempt to keep my contacts, friends, friends of friends, etc. in touch with what's going on in the world of charities. A distillation of the many briefings that arrive on my desk, plus whatever I've gleaned from charities I'm currently working with. Always glad to get your comments and suggestions;

Daryl Martin

d.martin@afvs.org.uk

What do we have this month?

1. Data Protection (GDPR) Update
2. Safeguarding
3. Charity shops Asked to pay full Business Rates
4. Legacy Income not Growing
5. New Automatic Disqualification Rules
6. When to Accept; When to Refuse a Donation
7. HMRC Update
8. Trustee Welcome Pack
9. Switching Your Incorporated Charity into a CIO?
10. Charity Commission News
11. Trustee Training
12. Online Learning
13. How can we help you?
14. And Finally...

1. Data Protection (GDPR) Update
By the time you read this, the May deadline has passed. If you haven’t issued your privacy policy and notice, might be worth checking with us before you do; it’s increasingly clear that there’s a lot of confusion, with too many organisations making decisions they may come to regret. Too much scaremongering. We’re standing by the advice we’ve given (although, we had a few sleepless nights with ‘experts’ disagreeing with us.) Most organisations have decided by now which way they will go for better or worse. Many millions are experiencing deep joy in the certain knowledge that their decisions not to press the ‘opt-in’ button will reduce their inboxes enormously. People are not even ‘opting in’ to organisations they quite like hearing from; I’m told a 10 - 20% response rate is about what charities are getting. Contact us if you’d appreciate some guidance (but not if you want to argue). GDPR isn’t going to go away; we’ll carry on working with organisations to help them stay safe. Here’s a quote I read today: Toni Vitale, the head of regulation, data and information at the law firm Winckworth Sherwood, said ‘many of the GDPR requests currently flooding our inboxes are needless paperwork’.

If you need help writing or rewriting your Privacy Notice let us know. We have reviewed quite a number of these now!

 

2. Safeguarding
Right now, it does rather look like the bigger the organisation, the poorer their safeguarding practices (not practises not policies!). I hear today that a chair resigned because his charity allegedly spent £100k, largely on trying to bury safeguarding issues rather than bring them into the light. I sat in on a board meeting recently where the CEO had to bring before the board a safeguarding issue that had just come to light. His total transparency led to a high-quality discussion with some excellent decisions about how to go forward being made.

 

3. Charity shops Asked to pay full Business Rates
Councils have been threatening to charge charity shops full business rates for some time now - it’s a huge subject. The average profit margin from charity shops is about 20% of turnover - and with an average turnover of around £80k, this means about £16k contribution (say £20k max) towards the charity's core business. If charities are suddenly faced with having to pay full business rates, a good 50% of all charity shops nationally would have to close. Given the massive reduction in government and local authority funding available now, UK registered charities are an absolute lifeline - needs are greater, but the pot of money is becoming ever smaller. If local councils miss seeing this and end up 'taking it out' on charities operating shops in their community (mostly through pressure from other for-profit traders, ignorance and/or sheer greed/desperation), regardless of whether the shop is operating under a trading company or not, then just who will pick up the cost? It would be a disaster. (Thanks to David Farndale for this timely warning.) David told me about The Demos report: Measuring the social value of charity shops…”GIVING SOMETHING BACK. Let me know if you’d like a copy.

 

4. Legacy Income not Growing
If the confused implementation of GDPR results in a fall off of donations, legacy income will become increasingly important. We’ve had a request from members to come up with some recommendation on this subject. Failing an in-house volunteer, I’m trying to steel myself to do some work on it. (Are there any readers who can help on this?)

Legacy Foresight tell us from a recent survey that legacy growth rate is not increasing; it’s actually down by just over 1%.

 

5. New Automatic Disqualification Rules
Knowing what busy lives you lead, this is one that some of you may have missed. These 2 links take you to declarations that must be completed by every trustee and senior manager in place now, and anyone coming on board at any future date. It comes into force on August 1st. I suspect you will have to tick a box next time you complete your annual return. If anyone in your organisation will be caught out by this, you can apply for a waiver. Any issues let me know, and I’ll do what I can to help. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/automatic-disqualification-rule-changes-guidance-for-charities#preparing-for-the-rule-changes

 

6. When to Accept; When to Refuse a Donation
I cover this in my training, but in case you’ve missed out here’s another link for you. A guide from the Institute of Fundraising. https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/institute-of-fundraising-publishes-guide-on-accepting-and-refusing-donations.html

 

7. HMRC Update
Sandy Adirondack in her inimitable style has posted a detailed summary of the latest changes. Most of it will be taken care of by your payroll people, but you need to know about new rules for Benefits in Kind, particularly where salary sacrifice is concerned; also applies to similar schemes, including gym membership (as if!), medical insurance and mobile phones. It’s well worth subscribing to Sandy’s updates (legalupdate@sandy-a.co.uk). Let me know if you need any specific help on any of this.

Tax-free childcare has now been fully rolled out for all eligible parents. In a related change, childcare vouchers – which were supposed to close to new entrants on 5 April will remain open until 4 October.

 

8. Trustee Welcome Pack
The Charity Commission has issued a pack to welcome new trustees. They send it out to new trustees. Might be worth making this a part of your induction pack as there could be a delay advising the Commission of new trustees. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-trustee-welcome-pack

 

9. Switching Your Incorporated Charity into a CIO?
I surprised myself with this one having taken the view that there wasn’t any point in a well-run charity making the change. Then I was invited to drive 150 miles to make a presentation on the issue which meant I had to give it some considered thought (and take some advice; thanks Rachel). I came up with some good reasons to convert. If a dozen or so of my readers writes in and ask for a briefing, I’ll stir myself up to write one; At least it’ll make a change from GDPR.

 

10. Charity Commission News
In case you missed it, here’s yet another link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-commission-news-issue-60/charity-commission-news-issue-60
(You might take special note of the article on Safeguarding.)

 

11. Trustee Training
Training in May has gone very well. I’m even beginning to get asked back. A few slots are available in June and July.

 

12. Online Learning
The Effective Trustee course is worth looking at if you’re too far away for me to visit cost effectively. I can give you a decent discount if you write to me. Our GDPR 2 hour awareness course is still available. https://www.bowringandjazz.com/product/gdpr-compliance/

 

13. How can we help you?
The list of our support services gets ever longer:

All Aspects of Accounts including Yearend and Bookkeeping
Migration to Xero and QuickBooks Online
Mentoring
VAT Advice

Outsourcing (Book-keeping, Virtual FD, Gift Aid etc.)
Data Protection (GDPR) Compliance
HR Support
Legal Advice
Trading Issues
(including Charity Shops)
Community Halls
Fundraising: Reviewing, Advising, Mentoring, Bid Writing
Training, Including Online Learning
General Advice and Consultancy
Extensive Library of Briefings and Policy Templates

 

Contact us if you need help in any of these areas.

 

14. And Finally...

A snatch of this crept into my ‘Serendipity’ (If you haven’t seen it I’ll send you a copy and promise you’ll enjoy it), without knowing where it came from. I found it just this week in a garden centre outside Birmingham, and I take pleasure in sharing it with you.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Robert Fulghum,

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down, and the plant goes up; nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.”

“Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”

Thank you for your encouraging messages. We look forward to hearing from you with your questions, your suggestions, your requests for help and advice. Go well.

If you find this bulletin helpful, could you take a moment to pass it onto others who might appreciate it.

Daryl Martin

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