The National Lottery Community Fund Review

Now is the time for a conversation about how The National Lottery Community Fund can best support UK communities to prosper and thrive going forward. As part of their ongoing commitment to putting communities first, The National Lottery Community Fund has launched their Strategic Renewal process to help shape how they invest in communities in the future – and they want you to get involved!

The National Lottery Communities Fund stated in their latest newsletter the reasons why they feel now is the right time for this review.

Thanks to National Lottery players and you, our grant holders, we have made a significant difference to communities, including through the pandemic. Now, as the UK emerges from the pandemic The National Lottery Community Fund has a critical role to play in supporting communities to unleash their energy and potential so they can get to where they want to be. Communities across the UK are facing fresh challenges and opportunities and have new hopes and aspirations. This is an exciting and inspiring time, and we want to hear from you to help us understand how we continue to effectively support communities across the UK.

 

To read more about the review check out their website : https://www.puttingcommunitiesfirst.org.uk/?dm_i=5P0C,I2SL,1TXR81,27S6W,1

Vision for Volunteering launches soon

Kathryn Shepherdson header

Over the past year, a number of national body partners have been pulling together England’s first Volunteering Strategy – Vision for Volunteering. This is going to be launched at the Birmingham Volunteer Expo in May , but don’t worry Support Cambridgeshire have secured some exciting news around this which we will be realising in the coming weeks, so watch this space.

 

 

What’s in a number?

 

 

Keith Johnson Senior Development Worker at Hunts Forum

 

 

Recently, I was talking with someone who wanted me to tell them if they had been conned as they had given money to what they thought was a charity, but turned out to be a private company. Or rather, a not-for-profit private company. They had checked, so they thought, but had mistaken a company number for a charity number.

What do these numbers mean? And does having only a company number mean that the donation hasn’t gone to a worthy cause?

When a charity registers with the Charity Commission it is given a number it’s Charity number. 1 When you see a charity number you can be assured that the Charity Commission has agreed that the purposes (Objects) of the organisation are entirely charitable. The organisation now has to provide a set of annual accounts, the trustees must write an annual report that details how the work of the charity has been for public benefit. The Charity Commission regulates the activities of the charity and how it is run.

To be a charity in England and Wales the organisation must satisfy the definition of a charity in the Charities Act

The Charities Act says that a ‘charity’ is an organisation which

  • is established for charitable purposes only and
  • is subject to the control of the High Court’s charity law jurisdiction

 

What if a group calls itself a charity, but doesn’t have a charity number?

Firstly, it is important to understand that many legal structures (a charity is of itself not a legal structure, but exactly what these are is beyond the scope of this short piece) cannot register with the Charity Commission until they reach an income threshold- currently £5,000 annual income.  If the organisation has only charitable purposes, then in law it is a charity even if it does not refer to itself as such. There are innumerable small, unregistered charities in the UK that operate without ever reaching the income threshold that would allow them to register. They do amazing work in their communities.

The main thing that both registered and unregistered charities have in common is that they are run by volunteers- trustees. Trustees cannot be paid.

Some Charities are also registered limited companies. This means that they are registered with Companies House as well as the Charity Commission and have to file annual reports to both regulators. By becoming Charitable Companies, Charities can provide their trustees with limited liability and enter into contracts as a separate legal entity. They are still run by volunteer trustees, but some of these will also be directors of the limited company- they remain unpaid.

However, there are many organisations who do similar work to Charities and Charitable Companies, but that are not themselves a charity.

There are a growing number of Social Enterprises. These can come in many forms which I cannot go into detail with at the moment, but they can range from straightforward sole traders and partnerships, through to limited companies, co-ops and Community Interest Companies and more.  A common aspect for all is that they are businesses that aim to make a profit, but also have a social purpose.

It is what a social enterprise does with its profit that makes them different to a mainstream business. A social enterprise will either reinvest that profit into the social side of the work that they do or donate that profit to create social change- sometimes both. Although generating income from trading in goods or services, many social enterprises will also fundraise by asking supporters for donations or even apply for grants in the same way as a charity. However, many forms of social enterprise are ineligible to apply for most grant funding and so may rely on trading and supporter donations.

Social Enterprise UK states that a social enterprise “must generate the majority (more than 50%)  of  their  income through trade.”2

Just like with Charities, not all will have a company number. However, many will. If the social enterprise is a company limited by guarantee or by shares, they will be registered with and regulated by Companies House and have a company number. Co-ops and Community Benefit Societies will be registered with and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and have a registration number that can be checked on the Mutuals Register. 3

An increasingly popular form of social enterprise is a Community Interest Company (CIC). This is a company limited by Guarantee or by Shares registered with Companies House and also with the CIC regulator. The CIC regulator ensures that the company is operating in the Community Interest and the company has to provide an annual Community Interest Company Report to the regulator that can read on the CICs Companies House filings. It is, however, a very light touch regulator, especially when compared with the Charity Commission.

Unlike charities, which although they may have paid staff are ultimately run by a board of unpaid volunteer trustees, social enterprises can pay the people who run the business and so is popular with people who want to address a community need, but also earn an income at the same time. If limited by shares, they can also raise funds by issuing shares and pay dividends to shareholders.

Many social enterprises have chosen not to be a charity so that they can be more flexible, nimble, responsive, impactful and perhaps more political in their approach to a social need. No social enterprise should ever refer to itself as a charity or as charitable. If they do, they are at best being disingenuous- perhaps intentionally, but far more likely due to ignorance on the part of those running them.

Displaying Company and Charity information

If a charity is registered with the charity commission it must display its registered name and address on its website, in emails, promotional material, etc. most choose to also provide their charity number. Charitable companies are registered with Companies House as well as the Charity Commission and so file accounts to both regulators and have a company number as well as a charity number. Companies, including Community Interest Companies, must display the name, address and company number.

Being confident in our donation

If, like my friend, you wish to give money to a company claiming a social purpose, remember you can check up on their activities on the Companies House website.4 As we have seen, just because they are a company does not mean that anyone is pulling a fast one. There are many companies doing great community work. If you support the cause and wish to give, you can confidently support a company just as much as a charity. But if you are concerned, find out more about them before you give- check on the Charity Commission website for information about charities, on the mutuals register for co-ops and CBS and on the Companies House website for information on companies, including CICs.

Know who is regulating the organisation you are giving to. Make use of the Charity, Mutual or Company number to give you confidence in the organisation you are giving. And if they don’t have a number, at least now you may have some idea why that might be.

 

Footnotes

 

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation Recovery Fund

 

CCF has launched the Recovery phase of its Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Fund. Grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 are to help secure the finances of key organisations that have lost income due to the crisis and are directly supporting vulnerable people experiencing hardship as a result of the crisis. Funding will also support key organisations to adapt their operations, services and working practices.

Please note: for larger grants – £15,000 – £25,000 there is a two stage process.
The deadline for the Expression of Interest is next week – 19 August.

Recovery grants are available in two categories:

  • £10,000-14,999
  • £15,000-25,000

The fund will focus on funding organisations that can demonstrate that they are reaching the most vulnerable. This might be geographic communities or communities of identity. Understanding which communities are most vulnerable is an emerging picture and there is no definitive understanding. Your application should demonstrate and evidence how your work is helping those who are worst affected, in the longer-term. You should explain how you understand these needs through consultation with the communities you serve. The fund aims to build upon existing community assets and empower communities from the ground up.

If you are applying for core costs

You can apply for funding towards keeping your current services or activities going, whilst you adjust to the impact of the pandemic on your organisation. Grants may be awarded, wholly or in part, towards your core running costs (including salaries and overheads), operations or capital costs. If you are seeking this type of financial support you must have a good case for support. That means being able to explain what you will do with the grant and how you will return to financial stability within a short period (up to 6 months). You should also show who will benefit and how you know the work will make a difference to vulnerable communities, impacted by Coronavirus.
Your case for such funding should be supported by:

  • an organisational budget
  • latest management accounts
  • a brief business plan (where appropriate) to set out your strategy
  • a cashflow forecast might be useful to demonstrate your finance plan.

Applications will be favoured that can demonstrate a clear, thought-out plan backed up with figures.

Recovery Grant of £10,000 – £14,999

The deadline for Round 1 is 9 September 2020.
Outcomes will be received by the end of October.

Recovery Grant of £15,000 – £25,000

The deadline for Round 1 Expression of Interest Forms is 19 August 2020.
If you are then invited to submit a full application you should consider submitting a cash flow and a business plan to support your application.

The deadline for Round 1 Full Applications is 9 September 2020
Outcomes will be received by the end of October.

Go to the Cambridgeshire Community Fund website to find all the information about this fund, including full details on eligibility criteria and how to apply.

If your organisation needs any help with your application and any assistance with the supporting information you need to supply – such as a cashflow forecast or business plan – then please contact either CCVS or HuntsForum
Email: enquiries@cambridgecvs.org.uk
Email: info@huntsforum.org.uk  

New Guidance to Support Victims of Criminal Exploitation

The Children’s Society has published a toolkit for people working with children and young people trafficked for the purpose of criminal exploitation in relation to ‘County Lines’.

The following is taken from the toolkit introduction:

The term ‘county lines’ is becoming more widely recognised and used to describe situations where young people may be internally trafficked for the purpose of criminal exploitation. What is often less understood is the experiences a young person faces and the potential for them to be harmed through various forms of abuse and exploitation as a result. This toolkit hopes to address some gaps in knowledge and offer suggestions for supporting young people who are at risk of, or being trafficked for the purpose of criminal exploitation.

There is currently no legal definition of county lines or criminal exploitation and also very little guidance. Currently, the criminal exploitation of children and young people is often not fully understood by services working with young people which can impact on the response that a young person receives. Trafficking and criminal exploitation are forms of abuse and therefore should be afforded a safeguarding response. Often the visible symptoms of this abuse are responded to, meaning that many young people receive a criminal justice response and their safeguarding needs can be overlooked as a result.

This guidance has been produced by The Children’s Society as part of the National CSE/A Prevention Programme for England and Wales, in partnership with Victim Support. Please click here to view the document in PDF format.

Cambridgeshire Adult Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services: Invitation to Tender

 

Cambridgeshire Adult Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services are currently being re-tendered. Interested parties are invited to a networking workshop on Friday the 2nd February between 1PM and 4PM at Hinchingbrooke Countryside Centre.

The afternoon will include presentations by Joe Keegan of the Public Health Commissioning Team Manager (Drugs & Alcohol/Sexual Health) at Cambridgeshire County Council, and Julie Farrow, Chief Executive of Hunts Forum of Voluntary Organisations, and lead partner with Support Cambridgeshire. These will be followed by discussion workshops and networking opportunities.

Following consultation with service users, local and national stakeholders and the general public, the Council’s vision is for community-based recovery provision, including peer support, connecting individuals and families to local networks for recovery. It wants providers to work holistically to improve individual’s needs around housing, employment and mental health. It hopes that Cambridgeshire-based treatment providers and third-sector organisations can bring their local expertise to ensure that resources are targeted efficiently and successfully.

In order for potential bidders (some of which will be national organisations) to understand the local landscape and appreciate the wide range of third sector providers that work across Cambridgeshire, we would like to provide the opportunity for all parties to meet, network and cement links for future partnerships.

The new contract will start on the 1 October 2018.

We hope that you will be able to join us on the 2nd February 2018 to meet and network with current and potentially new colleagues.

If you wish to book a space, please email trisha@huntsforum.org.uk.

Tea and Biscuits will be provided.

The quest for funding

The State of the Sector survey for 2017 showed beyond doubt that community organisations across Cambridgeshire are facing massive financial challenges, and that reductions in grant levels, combined with a greater level of difficulty in obtaining grants is a real worry.

Support Cambridgeshire launched its self funding portal this year, known as Support Cambridgeshire 4 Communities.

This portal enables individuals and community organisations to search for funding opportunities, based upon the type of organisation and the type of funding required.

It takes just a few minutes to register. You can then have unlimited searches free of charge – forever.

The site has received over 1,200 visits since it launched, so why not register and give it a go..!!

If you need help navigating your way around the system let us know at info@supportcambridgeshire.org.uk

If you find a funding opportunity but need assistance to develop your plans, let us know.

 

 

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