The Civil Society News

Online charity training courses this autumn – Governance & Leadership
They know how important it is for trustees and charity leaders to keep up-to-date with the latest regulations and best practice.
Their upcoming online training courses have been designed to improve your skills across all areas of charity leadership in order to get better outcomes for your organisation.

Government funding for charities at 15-year low
Voluntary sector income from the government is at its lowest for 15 years, new research from NCVO reveals. NCVO’s 2022 UK Civil Society Almanac shows that, for the first time in 20 years, most voluntary sector income comes from public giving, with 51% coming from this source. Smaller charities (under £100,000 income) have declined in number, the report shows, making up 80% of the sector now compared to 88% two decades ago. See more here.

One in eight charities were victims of a cyber attack last year, according to data released by the Charity Commission.
The survey, conducted by IFF Research and published last week, found that 12% have experienced cybercrime over the past 12 months. The Commission has warned that an increase in the number of charities moving to digital fundraising and operating since the pandemic risks “exposing them to the risk of cybercrime

Financial Controls: Is your charity protected?
How did one Finance Director steal £900,000 over 7 years? This is the reality of what happened to one charity which failed to implement the right financial controls to protect itself. So, what went wrong?  Whilst not always down to individual intent, monumental mishaps can often be a case of poor record keeping and over reliance on the individual. In another instance, over £100,000 was lost due to lack of supporting documentation. Click here to find out more.

Charities closing services due to EU funding gap
Charities have warned that employability programmes funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) are likely to end, with some already closing, as funding comes to an end next year.  Career Connect, the Salvation Army and Groundwork are among the many charities in the country that have benefited from ESF funding over the last few years.  Funding for employability programmes from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), the government’s domestic replacement for ESF, will only be made available in England from 2024-25 while EU funding closes in December 2023, leaving a funding gap.  Click here to find out more.

Complaints about online fundraising remain high, regulator reports
Large charities have reported high numbers of complaints about online fundraising to the regulator for the second year running, according to a new report. The report shows 56 of the biggest fundraising charities received 15,104 complaints overall in 2021-22, compared to 17,800 in 2020-21 and 18,569 in 2019-20. Of these, for the second consecutive year, online fundraising drew the most complaints (3,593) but this was lower than those received in 2020-21 (5,836). Nevertheless, the Fundraising Regulator said online fundraising was “relatively low risk” with one complaint for every 2.5 million impressions in 2021/22.

Rail strike rearranged to allow £1m Royal British Legion fundraiser to go ahead
Rail union RMT will rearrange strike action meant to take place on 3 November, so the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) London Poppy Appeal can be held as planned. On Monday, RBL had said it was in the process of cancelling its London Poppy Day due to the planned strikes. RMT has now decided to rearrange strike action for 9 November, and the charity has said it is “very grateful” for this decision.  It added: “We recognise and respect the right of all unions to take action for their members, and it was unfortunate on this occasion it would have had such a serious impact on our fundraising.”

Encouraging employees to volunteer could unlock £17bn for charities, report suggests
Enabling employees to volunteer for an average of one hour a week could generate £17.3bn per annum for charities and community groups, according to research by Pilotlight. Its report, Give your culture a workout, found that if UK employers had a strong “workout culture” – whereby staff are actively encouraged and supported to use their time and skills to support charities – businesses’ charitable giving could increase six-fold, from the current £2.7bn.