Rachel Cain, our Senior Researcher, breaks down the headlines from last week.
Report on funding for those affected by Grenfell Tower disaster
A story from the Charity Commission last week reported that only 15% of money raised to help those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster has been distributed so far. The most important issue, of course, is ensuring that those affected get the support they need, as quickly as possible, but also directed accountably and in the best possible way for them, recognising that funding will also be needed for the longer term impacts and that there have been difficulties in reaching everyone in need. The story was fairly thin on detail about the situation on the ground, but the Commission stated that it is working closely with charities to coordinate efforts and reach out to those in need. This issue raises the question of whether the UK perhaps needs a group like the Disasters Emergency Committee to respond effectively to disasters such as this.
Charity Commission guidance on grants to non-charitable organisations
The Commission came under criticism last year when it released draft guidance stating that charities should not be able to fund core costs or overheads of non-charitable organisations. In the final version released last week, the guidance instead says that charities can fund non-charitable organisations in this way, as long as it is ‘intended only to further the charity’s own purposes’.
10 years on, charities still waiting for a Big Lottery Refund
In the final weekend of the World Athletics Championships, many won’t have realised that the fantastic stadium, now occupied by West Ham, was partly paid for by lottery money that should have gone to charities. 10 years on from the raid, if the government paid back the £425m owed to the Big Lottery Fund now, it could support tens of thousands of projects in communities across the UK – from children’s hospices in Scotland, to foodbanks in Wales or activities for isolated older people in the North East.
SORP committee considers three changes
Those of you as passionate about charity accounts as the DSC Research team will be interested to hear that the charities SORP committee is to consider three changes to reporting – the possibility of a third tier of reduced requirements for smaller charities; changes to reporting of governance, aiming to end copied-and-pasted ‘boilerplate’ statements; and whether accounts should include a ‘key facts summary’ as best practice.
Arts Council drop in income
The Arts Council has seen a drop in income and share of National Lottery funding, as lottery ticket sales have fallen – another reason for a Big Lottery Refund, and another excuse to buy a lottery ticket this week…