BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

At a glance

The Charity Commission has released a new version of its online tool to search for information about a charity.

The Cabinet Office has announced seven new Social Impact Bond (SIB) investment schemes. Social Finance has announced a further two.

The social housing regulator, the HCA, will be introducing a new Regulatory Framework from 1 April.

New regulations come into force on 1 April 2015, providing new detailed conditions for qualifying as a Community Amateur Sports Club

HM Treasury has published a consultation paper on its business rates review.


Charity Commission

Has released a new version of its online tool to search for information about a charity. The new tool also includes a survey on its effectiveness. Differences in the new charity search tool include:

  • key information is now more prominent, such as income and expenditure and charity contact details
  • easier viewing on mobile phones and tablets
  • more user-friendly search filtering options
  • a new option to download filtered searches as a CSV file

Later updates to the new search will include additional information from charities’ annual returns, including whether a charity:

  • pays its trustees
  • raises funds from the public and whether it uses a commercial participator to do so
  • is a member of FRSB and therefore committed to high fundraising standards
  • has a trading subsidiary
  • makes grants to other charities as one of its main activities
  • has written policies on safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries, risk management, investment or conflicts of interest
  • is regulated by or registered with other agencies such as Ofsted, Care Quality Commission and Homes and Communities Agency

Charity law reform

The Law Commission has published its long awaited consultation on certain technical aspects of charity law including:

  • the procedures by which charities change their purposes and the administrative provisions of their governing documents;
  • the application of property cy-près, including the application cy-près of the proceeds of fundraising appeals;
  • the regulation of the acquisition, disposal and mortgage of land by charities;
  • the remuneration of a trustee of a charity for the supply of goods to the charity;
  • the power to award an equitable allowance to a trustee who has obtained an unauthorised profit;
  • the power for trustees to make ex gratia payments out of the funds of the charity;
  • the transfer of assets and liabilities on incorporation and merger, and gifts made by will to charities that have merged;
  • the availability of property held on charitable trust in the insolvency of a trustee;
  • the power of the Charity Commission to require a charity to change its name, and to refuse to register a charity unless it changes its name;
  • the power for the Charity Commission to determine the identity of the trustees of a charity; and
  • certain powers of the Charity Tribunal.

The easiest read is the summary which is 9 pages long. The main consultation runs to over 250 pages.

See here for a press release from the Charity Commission welcoming the consultation. The consultation closes on 3 July 2015.


Tax and VAT

See item under Sport re CASCs


Social investment

BWB has issued this summary of Budget announcements relating to Social Investment Tax Relief.

Social Enterprise UK has issued this press release about the Access Foundation for Social Investment which has been launched to support social enterprises and charities access social investment.


Social Finance

The Cabinet Office has announced seven new Social Impact Bond (SIB) investment schemes:

  • The Youth Engagement Fund will fund 4 new SIBs aimed at helping disadvantaged young people improve their educational qualifications and secure employment
  • The Social Outcomes Fund will provide £2.5 million to support 3 additional SIBs to help people with long term health conditions, mental illness and children in care

Social Finance has also announced the launch of two new Social Impact Bonds for vulnerable young people and people with severe mental health issues.


Education

Schools and universities: The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 contains a duty on specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. The government has issued guidance (under section 29 of the Act) for specified authorities (which includes schools and universities, as well as other public service providers listed in Schedule 6 of the Act). The duty itself has not yet commenced, meaning it is not yet law. The government will make a commencement order which will specify the day when the duty will commence.

See this announcement of 49 new free schools.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published new research into the scale and impact of prejudice-based bullying in Scottish secondary schools.


Housing

The social housing regulator, the HCA, will be introducing a new Regulatory Framework from 1 April. The HCA’s Decision Statement following a consultation on this was published in January and the full framework will be published later this month. Annex 6 of the Decision Statement provides the detail of the new registration criteria which will apply not just to new registrations but also to any registration applications that are currently underway and not completed before 1 April.


Sport

New regulations, which come into force on 1 April 2015, provide new detailed conditions for qualifying as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC). Also, separate regulations provide for changes to the CASC qualifying conditions to take effect from 1 April 2010 so that HMRC can backdate the registration of sports clubs whose applications for CASC status were put on hold while the CASC legislation was reviewed. The government has said that it will publish clear guidance to help clubs to apply the new conditions, which have been criticised for being overly complicated and for placing additional administrative burdens on clubs.


Advertising

Civil Society Media reports adverts for a PLAN UK campaign called “give child marriage the finger” were banned by Transport for London and some train networks on grounds of obscenity.


Business rates

HM Treasury has published a consultation paper on its business rates review.


Fundraising

See this comment on fundraising aspects of the Budget from Institute of Fundraising. Among the budget announcements was that the Office for Civil Society will procure a partner to deliver subsidised fundraising training to small charities in 2015-16.

The Fundraising Standards Board has published its Annual Report for 2014.

  • ance committees, these should not be the same committees that deal with the ALEO to ensure effectiveness of scrutiny.

Posted on 25/03/2015 in Legal Updates

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