BWB highlights

Today’s Briefing summarises the developments over the last week in relation to changes to the regulation of fundraising, including proposed amendments to the Charities Bill and the appointment of Sir Stuart Etherington to carry out a wide-ranging review.

The Annual BWB Charity and Social Enterprise Tea Party takes place on 23 Sept - please email for details.

At a glance

The Charity Commission has published an updated version of CC3 ‘The essential trustee’ and new guidance for “Umbrella trusts for schools”.

HMRC has updated its guidance on eligibility for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.

The National Audit Office has published a report “Outcome-based payment schemes: government’s use of payment by results”.

The Department for Business Industry and Skills has published a “State Aid Manual” and an updated version of "State aid: the basics guide".

Charity Commission

Has published:

  • updated guidance The essential trustee (CC3). The guidance breaks down the trustee’s role into six clear duties, and explains the legal requirements that trustees must meet, and the good practice they need to follow, to operate effectively and comply with their duties.  The commission has also updated the shorter trustee guide CC3a Charity Trustee – what’s involved?
  • guidance for “Umbrella trusts for schools”. Umbrella trusts are charities established to offer services and support to a number of schools.
  • a final decision in relation to Cheveley Pavilion and Recreation Ground Charity. Cheveley Parish Council, the trustee of the charity, requested the removal of the institution from the register on the grounds that it is not a charity. The Charity Commission decided it was a charity and should remain on the register. The commission was asked to review its decision and the reviewer formed the same view.

Has opened a statutory inquiry into Healthy Planet Foundation.


There were a number of developments last week which we have set out in chronological order, with the most recent first. 

10th July

Government has announced:

 (a) amendments to the Charities Bill to “force charities and fundraisers to have a written agreement showing how the vulnerable are protected” and to require charities with incomes over £1 million to set out in their trustees’ annual report their fundraising approach (including the use of professional fundraising agencies) and the steps the charity has taken to prevent inappropriate fundraising from vulnerable people. 

(b) a review of self regulation of fundraising by Sir Stuart Etherington. See here for Sir Stuart’s blog about the review.

The Institute of Fundraising and FRSB have published statements welcoming the review.

9th July 

Civil Society Media reports government wants the fundraising self regulatory bodies to investigate having a national suppression database for people to opt out of being approached by charities.

8th July

The three bodies responsible for fundraising self-regulation issued this press release about a meeting with the Minister for Civil Society to update him on the various actions that have been taken over the last few weeks around fundraising standards and planned activity for the future.

Civil Society Media reports Bernard Jenkin, chair of the Public Administration Select Committee, as saying that charity bosses will be called before the committee in the autumn, warning that MPs are likely to recommend fresh legislation to regulate fundraising. 

7th July

The Fundraising Standards Board has announced it will investigate allegations made in the Daily Mail about telephone fundraising practices.  

The Fundraising Standards Board has published the annual FRSB Complaints Report.  Direct marketing (direct mail, telephone fundraising, email and SMS) and public collections (Direct Debit, cash, prospect and clothing / household collections) account for the large majority (86%) of fundraising complaints recorded.   See the end for an interesting table setting out stats for the 10 most common complaints.

6th July

The Fundraising Standards Board and Institute of Fundraising announced that they are convening a summit within the next few weeks to review current practices and compliance with the Code of Fundraising Practice, TPS requirements and ICO guidance. The Information Commissioner’s Office, Direct Marketing Association and the Telephone Preference Service will attend.

The IoF and the PFRA have announced a strategic partnership.

Charity Tribunal

In the appeal being brought by The Steadfast Trust, against the decision by the Commission to remove it from the Register, an appeal by the Trust against a directions order made by Judge McKenna has been unsuccessful.  

Tax and VAT

HMRC has updated its guidance on eligibility for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.   

Accounting and audit

Scottish lawyers Turcan Connell have pointed out that the recent increases in audit thresholds for charities registered with the Charity Commission do not apply for the purposes of Scottish charity regulation, so any English charities registered with OSCR will need to take care.  


See here for Budget summaries/comment from:

Social Investment

Last week the National Audit Office published a report, Outcome-based payment schemes: government’s use of payment by results.  For comment from Big Society Capital, see here.  

Social enterprise

A reminder that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Community Interest Company (“CIC”). BWB is involved with two events being organised by the CIC Regulator to mark the anniversary. The first took place in Bristol on Thursday 16th July. BWB will be hosting the second event at its offices in London on 10 September.



The Department for Education (DfE) has published updated model privacy notice documents for schools and local authorities to use and adapt to send to school pupils, staff and parents.

Higher education

Student maintenance grants will be replaced with loans for new full-time students in England starting their courses from September 2016. 

State Aid

The Department for Business Industry and Skills has published:

  • A “State Aid Manual” to help public sector officials understand the state aid rules and how they apply in practice. It brings together guidance on a wide range of state aid-related topics in one document.
  • An updated version of "State aid: the basics guide".

Please click here to learn more about our Charity and Social Enterprise team.

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Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

+44(0)20 7551 7712

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Posted on 16/07/2015 in Legal Updates

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