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Resources

Charity Update Winter 2024

Resources

Charity Update Winter 2024

This page was last updated on January 11, 2024
In this bulletin we discuss The Charity Commission’s latest guidance on Social Media and Investing Charity Money. We also reflect on the Charities Act 2022’s final set of changes to be implemented in 2024 and The Fundraising Regulator’s Annual Complaints Report published last November.

In this issue

Social Media 

The Charity Commission has issued guidance on the use of social media by charities. Whilst the use of social media can be very beneficial to charities for publicising their work and fundraising opportunities, it also comes with its own risks. 

The purpose of the guidance is to: 

Charities should ensure they have:

  1. a social media policy,
  2. steps in place to ensure this policy is followed, and
  3. procedures in place if there is a breach

The guidance includes a helpful checklist for developing a social media policy. You can find it at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-and-social-media?

Investing charity money 

The Charity Commission guidance has been updated for trustees on investing charity money. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-and-investment-matters-a-guide-for-trustees-cc14

In short, the guidance has been refreshed to provide greater clarity and to make it more user-friendly. It also now incorporates the previously separate guidance on social investment. 

Charities Act 2022 – the rollout of changes reaches its conclusion in 2024

The Charities Bill received Royal Assent back in February 2022 and was passed into law as the Charities Act 2022. The changes have been implemented in stages on 31 October 2022 and 14 June 2023. Early 2024 will see the final set of changes applied.

As a result, the Charity Commission has updated its guidance to reflect the following changes.

1. Selling, leasing or otherwise disposing of charity land

The changes here include simplifying the rules on what advice trustees must receive on land disposal. There’s also a larger pool of professional advisors to consult.  See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sales-leases-transfers-or-mortgages-what-trustees-need-to-know-about-disposing-of-charity-land-cc28

2. Using permanent endowments

These changes include greater flexibility for charities in the use of permanent endowments. This includes allowing certain charities to borrow up to 25% of the value of their permanent endowment fund without Commission authority. See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/permanent-endowment-rules-for-charities 

3. Charity names

The Act gives the Charity Commission more power to direct a charity to stop using a name, or delay entry onto the register, if a name is too similar to another charity’s name or regarded as offensive or misleading. See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-choose-a-charity-name

4. Paying trustees for providing services or goods to the charity

Charities now have a statutory power to pay trustees for providing goods to the charity in certain circumstances. See:

5. Fundraising appeals that do not raise enough or raise too much

Changes here include simpler requirements if an appeal a) doesn’t raise enough, b) raises too much or c) a change of circumstances means that the donations can no longer be used for the intended purpose. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-fundraising-appeals-for-specific-purposes 

6. The power to amend Royal Charters

Royal Charter charities now have a new statutory power to change sections in their Royal Charter with permission from the Privy Council. See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/royal-charter-charities  

The Fundraising Regulator’s Annual Complaints Report

In November last year, The Fundraising Regulator published its Annual Complaints Report. In summary, the main areas of complaint centred around the following:

Complaints generally arose due to too much contact, misleading information, fundraiser behaviour, handling of personal data, ignoring door signs or not liking the method used.

The full November 2023 report can be found here. https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/complaints/annual-complaints-report?

CAN WE HELP?

If your Charity or Not-for-Profit organisation has questions or concerns relating to any of this latest guidance, please do get in touch with our specialist team.  You’ll find their details on the right of this page.


Specific advice should be obtained before taking action, or refraining from taking action, in relation to this summary. If you would like advice or further information, please speak to your usual Shipleys contact.

Copyright © Shipleys LLP 2024

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