BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprises

BWB Highlights

Developments to strengthen self-regulation of fundraising continue - see today's Briefing for the latest.

BWB has contributed to the E3M publication "Financing Social Enterprise Growth".

At a glance

William Shawcross, Chair of the Charity Commission, gave a speech last week commenting on fundraising and funding of the Charity Commission.

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill has had its second reading in the House of Lords.

The Financial Reporting Council has published a “Practice Aid for Audit Committees".

HMRC has updated its guidance on VAT and direct mail.

Charity Commission

You have probably seen press reports about the speech given last week by William Shawcross. This Civil Society Media article highlights comments he made about the need to consider alternative ways of funding the Charity Commission.

Has published a report of its inquiry into Shree Sorathia Prajapati Community UK, a “double defaulting” charity.

Self-regulation of fundraising

Things are moving fast in relation to strengthening self regulation – these are the developments from last week:

  • The Fundraising Standards Board issued its interim report;
  • The Institute of Fundraising issued this summary of steps the Standards Committee has taken in response to the FRSB interim report.

The Fundraising Standards Board issued this useful summary of steps donors can take to manage how much contact they have from charities.

Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill

The House of Commons Library has published an analysis and detailed background briefing on the Bill, which is available here. There is also a link to the explanatory notes that accompany the Bill.

Charity Tribunal

The First-tier Tribunal (Charity) has held that it was sufficient for the Charity Commission to have sent a decision letter by email to an appellant for the purposes of determining whether the time limit to appeal that decision had started to run. The Commission was not required to serve the decision on the appellant. The decision also restates the criteria to be applied by the tribunal when deciding whether to allow an appeal to proceed out of time (The Steadfast Trust v Charity Commission for England and Wales (CA/2015/0003): Ruling on preliminary issue (26 May 2015)).

Interpretation of objects

In April, the NI Court of Appeal issued a judgment in the case of Charity Commission for Northern Ireland v Bangor Provident Trust [2015] NICA 21 (24 April 2015). This is the latest round in a challenge by Bangor Provident Trust to the institution of an inquiry by CCNI. Bangor argued successfully before the NI Charity Tribunal that it was not charitable, but the High Court and now the Court of Appeal have concluded it is. The key issue is the inclusion in Bangor’s objects clause of the wording “and to do all other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects” and whether being able to carry out things “conducive “ to the objects means Bangor does not have wholly charitable objects.


In May, the Financial Reporting Council published a "Practice Aid for Audit Committees".

Tax and VAT

HMRC has updated its guidance on VAT and direct mail.

Social finance

Big Society Capital has published this blog about four social investment tax relief deals.

E3M, an initiative that supports a group of leaders from the largest and most successful UK social enterprises that trade in public service markets, has published “Financing social enterprise growth”. BWB Partners Simon Steeden, Luke Fletcher and Jim Clifford feature.

Posted on 17/06/2015 in Legal Updates

Back to Knowledge