BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

At a glance

The Cabinet Office has published proposals to increase the thresholds for charity audit.

New Philanthropy Capital has published “Happy relations? Ensuring effective partnerships between trustees and senior management”.

Social Enterprise UK has published an open data analysis of the public sector’s spend on social enterprises in the past four years.

Charity Commission

has published a report of its Operational compliance case involving the charity The Tony Blair Faith Foundation. The Commission got involved following a press article by a former employee suggesting that the charity’s independence was being compromised as a result of the patron’s close involvement in the charity’s affairs. The Commission found no evidence of this.

is encouraging larger charities to make use of a free tool aimed at helping them assess their resilience against fraud.

has opened statutory inquiries into:

  • Global Aid Trust Limited and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK), both charities featured in a recent ITV programme
  • The Durand Education Trust
  • Khalsa Missionary Society

BWB has submitted a response to the Charity Commission’s consultation on the revised "CC3 The Essential Trustee" guidance. BWB Senior Associate Leona Roche, who drafted BWB’s response to the consultation, comments “The overall tone of the new guide has changed and is now more prescriptive and regulatory and, as a result, less permissive and encouraging. We would welcome more reference to the concept of proportionality, noting that size, culture and history of the charity do matter.” Civil Society Media reports the revised guidance has been heavily criticised by NCVO, the Association of Charitable Foundations and the Charity Finance Group.

Charity Tribunal

An appeal by the charity Legal Action against the opening of an inquiry and various associated orders has been struck out because it was filed out of time.


The Cabinet Office has published its response to the consultation on increasing the thresholds for charity audit. The government plans to pursue proposals that include increasing the following thresholds from £500,000 to £1 million:

  • income threshold at which a charity should have its accounts audited
  • aggregate group income threshold at which parent charities should have group accounts audited
  • preparation threshold for group accounts


New Philanthropy Capital has published “Happy relations? Ensuring effective partnerships between trustees and senior management”.


Civil Society Media reports the government gave independent charities grants totalling just £480m out of a total grants budget of £147bn in the last financial year. Around £1.04bn went to charities which are also non-departmental public bodies or have other close links to government.


The Office for Civil Society (OCS) has launched the OCS Commissioning School pilot as a new part of the Commissioning Academy. The pilot will take place in the City of London and the London Borough of Hackney, looking at young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Attendees will learn about civil society approaches to topics such as getting value for money, co-commissioning for joint outcomes, mobilising service users and communities, and working with the voluntary sector.


Communities Minister Stephen Williams has announced a new £6 million funding boost to the Community Rights programme.

Impact measurement

A report on EU Social Impact Measurement Standards, approved last June, has now been published. BWB’s Jim Clifford chaired the experts group which produced the report. He comments “This is the culmination of a year’s work between November 2012 and December 2013. It brought together experts in the topic form the social sector, Government, academia and practice from across the EU to answer the question: can we develop a single, umbrella standard for impact measurement.”

Social investment market

This is an interesting blog by Paul Hopkins from Teens & Toddlers about the benefits to his organisation of using a Social Impact Bond.

Social enterprise

Social Enterprise UK has published an open data analysis of the public sector’s spend on social enterprises in the past four years.

Social Value

Nick Temple, deputy chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, has written a detailed blog on the recent Social Value Review.

Health and Social Care

The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 has received Royal Assent. Among other things, it creates new offences of ill-treatment or wilful neglect by care workers and care providers (including bodies corporate and unincorporated associations). Those convicted of the care worker offence are punishable by up to five years imprisonment and those convicted of the care provider offence are liable to one or more of a fine, a remedial order and a publicity order. Local authorities and bodies to whom they have delegated care responsibilities are also potentially liable for these offences in respect of some of their health and social care functions. The date for these sections coming into force have not been announced yet.

Arts and Culture

The Institute of Fundraising has launched a new special interest group aimed at fundraising professionals in the cultural sector.


A new appeal has been filed in the Scottish Charity Tribunal by Mr R. Pierotti and Mr G Bruce. No details available yet.

Posted on 25/02/2015 in Legal Updates

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