BWB Highlights

BWB's Simon Steeden has authored an opinion piece in the Law Society Gazette on the rules governing referendums. Click here to read the article.

Just over two weeks to go until our Annual Charity and Social Enterprise Tea Party 2016. All places have now gone but click here to be added to our waiting list.

On Wednesday 28th September, BWB and CrowdJustice are co-hosting an event which will examine how crowdfunding is transforming access to justice. See below for more information.

At a glance

The Law Commission has published a short supplementary consultation paper relating to its charity law reform project.

HMRC has published a portfolio of charity-specific guidance on the new Common Reporting Standard.

The Fundraising Regulator has now published its final plans for the levy to be paid by charities and is consulting on final proposals for the Fundraising Preference Service.

The Cabinet Office has published case studies from eight providers documenting their experience on how they applied social value in their projects.

Charity Commission

Inquiry reports

An inquiry report has been published into Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK).  The main issue was the management, by the charity’s trustees, of a guest speaker at the charity’s event.  

Inquiry reports have also been published into the following double defaulting charities:

Ongoing inquiries

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Chessed L’Yisroel Ltd – the inquiry relates to financial discrepancies in the charity’s accounts.  

The commission has appointed an Interim Manager to The Park Charitable Trust, which has been the subject of an inquiry since 2014.

Charity law reform

The Law Commission has published a short supplementary consultation paper examining two issues that arose from its previous consultation. The issues are:

1. In relation to changing a charity’s purposes

  • whether to introduce a statutory right for unincorporated charities to change their purposes with Charity Commission consent without needing to establish a cy pres occasion
  • proposing a list of factors that the Charity Commission must consider when it decides whether or not to give its consent to a change of purposes (which would apply to unincorporated charities, and possibly also charitable companies)

2. A proposal to make trust corporation status more easily available to corporate charities.

The supplementary consultation, a summary and optional response form are all available to downloadhere. The consultation period ends on 31 October 2016.

Common Reporting Standard - additional reporting requirements for charities

HMRC has published a portfolio of charity-specific guidance.


See here for the announcement about the proposed government audit to tackle racial disparities in public service outcomes.   

NCVO has published this blog about what changes to Parliament Select Committees might mean for charities.


Implications for the charity sector

Last month, following assurances announced by the Treasury, charity sector bodies including NCVO and Charity Finance Group wrote a letter to the Treasury calling for additional assurances that EU funding for charities will be replaced once the UK leaves the EU.  The letter calls for charities to receive the "same level of assurance" as the other sectors the government has already committed to funding, as well as for further discussions on how services and research financed by the EU will be supported post-Brexit.   A spokeswoman for the Treasury has said the department would respond in due course.

Third Sector reports that Don Bawtree from BDO has urged charities to include Brexit in their principal risk statements within their annual report on the basis every charity on the register will be financially impacted by Brexit, as donations will be potentially affected by higher taxes and inflation, legacies and grant income impacted by changes in house prices and investments, EU funding may be jeopardised, investment income is uncertain and trading income, especially retail, will not be immune. In February, the Financial Reporting Council warned companies to add Brexit to their principal risk statements. 


Fundraising Regulator – funding levy and registration plans

The Fundraising Regulator (FR) has now published its final plans for the levy to be paid by charities, and the proposals for registration with the FR.  

Donor data

Civil Society Media reports the results of an NCVO survey of donors about use of their data by charities.  The survey was to inform the work of NCVO’s “opt in” working group which expects to publish its recommendations later this month.  

The Fundraising Regulator’s “final proposals” for the development and management of the Fundraising Preference Service can be downloaded from this webpage. There is a further short consultation period ending on September 30th, following which final plans to introduce the service in 2017 will be finalised.  For comment from the Institute of Fundraising see here.

Direct marketing

Civil Society Media reports the Direct Marketing Association has set up a “Responsible Marketing Committee” to be responsible for the DMA Code.  This committee will oversee the work of the DMA’s Fundraising Taskforce.   

House to house sales of charity lottery tickets

The FRSB has upheld complaints against a fundraising company, Magnum Direct, in relation to its door to door sales of lottery tickets for Royal British Legion (“RBL”).   Particular issues were:

  • Magnum Direct had not trained its sales agents to deliver a ‘solicitation statement.
  • A senior member of Magnum Direct’s training team had misleadingly implied that monthly lottery subscriptions made through RBL’s ‘Poppy Lottery’ would be restricted to building a rehabilitation centre when the funds would in fact be used for general purposes.
  • A Magnum Direct trainer had encouraged pressurising tactics to secure monthly lottery subscriptions.
  • Magnum’s sales agents were still being trained to knock on doors displaying ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers.

A complaint against RBL was also upheld for failing to properly monitor Magnum.

House to house clothing collections

The Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) has not upheld a complaint about the delivery of a Salvation Army Trading Company Limited (SATCoL) clothing collection bag to a household displaying signage that requested no unsolicited marketing materials.

Social investment

Last month, Big Society Capital has published this blog by Charlotte Pritchard  “The Gritty Reality of Social Investment: Thoughts from Internal Counsel”.

Social value/social impact

The Cabinet Office has published case studies from eight providers documenting their experience on how they applied social value in their projects.  The projects range from adult social care providers to forums supporting voluntary organisations.

Social enterprise

Social Enterprise UK has announced the shortlists for the Social Enterprise Awards 2016.


From 1st October, email addresses at the Department of Education are changing – the current “.gsi” element is being removed.  After 1st October, emails sent to the old addresses will not be forwarded.  

New data analysis has found that education charities lag far behind health charities in terms of voluntary income.  See here for the New Philanthropy Capital report.


The Department of Health has announced forty-one projects which will benefit from a share of £15 million to improve provision of mental health places of safety. 

Faith-based organisations

National Churchwatch, a multi-faith organisation dedicated to reducing crime in places of worship, has published a guidance note on Counter Terrorism Advice for Churches.

Also see under Northern Ireland below.


The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has published its Third Report of Session 2016-17 on Homelessness.

Data protection

The Information Commissioner's Office has fined a nursing home in Northern Ireland, £15,000 for failing to keep the personal information they hold secure.  The breach occurred when a member of staff took an unencrypted work laptop home, which was stolen during a burglary overnight. The laptop contained sensitive personal details relating to 46 staff and about 29 residents.  

The Digital Economy Bill plans to require the Information Commissioner to create a direct marketing code and guidance (which would be on a statutory basis like the data sharing code).   Clause 77 would insert a new provision into DPA 1998 that would require the IC to prepare a code of practice containing practical guidance in relation to the carrying out of direct marketing in accordance with DPA and PECR, and “such other guidance as the Commissioner considers appropriate to promote good practice in direct marketing.” The IC is required to consult before preparing the Code. The Bill was introduced to Parliament in July but no date for a second reading has been announced yet.

Public procurement

See item under Social value above.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has published information about developments in procurement policy and commercial reform, the range of CCS agreements that are available and various training opportunities and events.

Northern Ireland

NICVA and RCN are currently developing a database of all religious and community faith based organisations in Northern Ireland in order to better understand the size, scope and work of this important sector.  To inform this NICVA is sending out a call to all faith-based organisations to sign up to its new 'NI Faith Map' project.    

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has published the latest edition of its newsletter, CCNI News.

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Posted on 07/09/2016 in Legal Updates

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