BWB Highlights

Last week saw the long awaited announcement that charity authorised investment funds can now be registered with the Charity Commission, as well as being authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.  For further information on what this means for charities please see BWB’s update.

Two weeks’ today, new requirements come into force for fundraising agreements with professional fundraisers and commercial participators.  See today’s Briefing for steps charities should be taking to prepare.

At a glance

The Institute of Fundraising has launched “Trustees and fundraising: a practical handbook”.

The Care Quality Commission has published its Annual “State of Care” report, an overview of health and social care in England.

The Intellectual Property Office has launched “Lambert 2”, a toolkit aiming to bolster collaboration between universities and businesses.

The European Commission has published a study on financing models for public services in the EU and their impact on competition.

Social Finance has published two new reports “Building the case for social investment in credit unions” and “Evaluating Impact Bonds – Balancing Evidence And Risk.

Charity Commission

New version of Register

Back in April, we reported in our website review that the Commission was trialling a new version of the online Register of Charities, which included some new search features. At the time, the use of figures and their graphic representation attracted some criticism in the sector media, which suggests that the financial figures shown on the new version would mislead the public. This week, Civil Society Media has reported that the new Register has now been changed so that the information about spending ratios is less prominent and there is an explanation about how spending ratios are used. There is now greater focus on the amount spent on charitable activities, rather than the administrations costs figure.


See under Fundraising below.


A number of submissions to the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities have been published.  See:


High Court challenge

The Guardian has this article summarising the court case challenging Theresa May’s power to invoke Article 50 without Parliamentary authority.  The hearing of the case continues this week.

Shadow Secretaries’ 170 questions to David Davis

The Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry MP, and Shadow Secretary for Exiting the European Union, Sir Keir Starmer QC MP, have written to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis MP, raising 170 questions concerning Brexit. The 170 questions – one for each day before Theresa May’s self-imposed deadline to start the process for leaving the EU – was sent in a letter to David Davis in the run-up to an Opposition Day debate on Wednesday.  The list of 170 questions can be found here.

Charity sector implications

More than nine in ten small charities do not believe their views will be represented by the government during Brexit negotiations, a survey by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) has found. Of the 299 charities that responded to the survey, 91 per cent said they were not confident their voices would be heard during the legislative process for Brexit.  The FSI index also indicates that small charities are under increasing pressure, with 65 per cent of respondents saying demand increased in the three months covered by the survey. Despite this, 82 per cent of respondents said they were confident of being able to deliver their services over the next year.


New requirements from 1st November for fundraising agreements

As many of you will be aware, on 1st November new requirements come into force for certain fundraising agreements.  Failure to comply will affect the ability of the professional fundraiser or commercial participator to enforce the agreement, and may also mean that the charity is in breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice. Click here to read this BWB update about the new requirements.

The Institute of Fundraising has launched a new free handbook to support charity trustees as they navigate their way through their responsibilities in relation to fundraising.  It was developed in partnership with other charity sector umbrella bodies the Charity Finance Group, ACEVO and NCVO.   Trustees and Fundraising: A practical handbook has been written to complement the official Charity Commission CC20 guidance on fundraising for trustees.  It includes:

  • case studies, checklists and tips for trustees, charity leaders and fundraisers
  • content covering the rules and regulations governing fundraising
  • how to plan for a sustainable future

Along with the handbook, IOF has published an animation and powerpoint presentation, and top 10 tips.

Social finance

Charity authorised investment funds

On 12 October 2016, the Investment Association announced the publication of industry guidance on charity authorised investment funds (CAIFs). CAIFs are funds that are registered with the Charity Commission and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), that are set up exclusively for investment by charities. Key features of CAIFs are that they will benefit from an exemption from VAT on fund management fees. There will also be better protection for investors due to the regulatory oversight of the FCA.  For further information on what this means for charities please see BWB’s update.

Two recent Social Finance reports may be of interest:

  • Building the case for social investment in credit unions looks at the potential for social investment to help grow the credit union sector. The report explores the opportunity within the landscape for social investment, how credit unions can make themselves more appealing to social investors and the benefits of investing in these organisations. 
  • Evaluating Impact Bonds – Balancing Evidence And Risk explores the concept of evaluation in relation to Impact Bonds.  The paper describes three levels of evaluation that may take place within an Impact Bond, but focuses on considerations around ‘Contractual Outcomes Metrics’ – the metrics against which Impact Bond payments are or aren’t made that carry with them both financial and reputational risk for outcomes funders and investors.

Social enterprise

A new British Council survey has found that social enterprise is “a vibrant and growing sector of the economy in Bangladesh, Ghana, India and Pakistan”.



The Department for Education has published:

  • guidance for local authorities interested in commissioning a special free school. Special free schools are free schools for children with special educational needs or disabilities.
  • updated statutory guidance setting out the arrangements for the constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools in England.  

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper discussing the origin, progress and future of University Technical Colleges, which operate as a type of academy, with relevant freedoms such as not having to follow the national curriculum, or employ teachers with qualified teacher status.  

Higher Education

The government has announced that EU students applying for a place at an English university or further education institution in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will continue to be eligible for student loans and grants - and will be for the duration of their course.  

Also see below under Intellectual property.


The Department of Health has:

The Care Quality Commission has published its Annual “State of Care” report, an overview of health and social care in England. See this BWB update for a summary of the key issues.

Also see below under Procurement and state aid.

International aid

See item under Social enterprise above.

Human rights

Research, commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation and carried out with the London School of Economics and Political Science, has found multinational companies are using their influence to defend human rights.

Procurement and state aid

The European Commission has published a study on financing models for public services in the EU and their impact on competition. The aim of the study is to help understand how public services, particularly services of general economic interest are financed and when those financing arrangements may create competition problems.

Intellectual property

The Intellectual Property Office has launched “Lambert 2”,  a toolkit aiming to bolster collaboration between universities and businesses. The toolkit includes:

  • 11 model (one to one and multi-party) agreements 
  • decision guides to identify which agreement you could use for your circumstances 
  • model agreements to commence your negotiations 
  • additional agreements for when additional parties join your projects; and 
  • substantial guidance notes to take parties through the process of identifying and using the model agreements


Last week the government introduced the Criminal Finances Bill.  See here for details.

Northern Ireland

The seventh issue of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland’s (CCNI) bi-monthly newsletter has been published,  including articles on i) research on public trust and confidence in Northern Ireland charities; ii) the Good Governance roadshow; iii) the launch of a Commission customer satisfaction survey; iv) HMRC’s list of common tax mistakes.

CCNI’s latest blogpost is a guest blog from John Farrelly, the CEO of the Republic of Ireland’s new charities regulator  providing an overview of his approach to regulating and protecting charities.

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Disclaimer - The information contained in this update is not intended to be a comprehensive update - it is our selection of the website announcements made in the week up to last Friday which we think will be of interest to charities and social enterprises. The content is necessarily of a general nature - specific advice should always be sought for specific situations.

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Christine Rigby

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Posted on 18/10/2016 in Legal Updates

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