Third Sector reporter Sophie Hudson looks back at the big stories of the past twelve months, including the continuing drive to limit fraud and theft in clothing bag collections
The year was dominated by attempts to increase levels of giving. The Budget in March included a number of measures, including a scheme to allow charities to claim Gift Aid on up to £5,000 of small donations without the need for Gift Aid declarations. It also included a move to bring inheritance tax down from 40 per cent to 36 per cent from next year for anyone who leaves 10 per cent of their estate to charity.
Two months later, the government’s Giving White Paper contained details of a number of funds and initiatives to increase the giving of time and money in the UK. Shortly afterwards, the Philanthropy Review, a sector-led inquiry into philanthropy and giving, published its call to action by outlining a number of measures that it claimed could result in an extra £2bn being donated to charity by 2015.
It was a busy year at the Institute of Fundraising. In March, Amanda McLean quit as its chief executive after only four months in post. In May, Mark Astarita, director of fundraising at the British Red Cross, was appointed as the institute’s new chair. Shortly afterwards, Peter Lewis, the chief executive at London Voluntary Service Council, was named as the new IoF chief executive.
There were also changes at the top of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association. It announced it planned to recruit a paid chair and that Mick Aldridge had stepped down as chief executive. The PFRA said that from next year it would fine street and door-to-door fundraisers that did not adhere to two new rule books.
The fight against bogus charity bag collectors and the theft of charity bags continued, with the Fundraising Standards Board holding a symposium with charities and other relevant bodies to discuss how to tackle the problem. The FRSB later launched public awareness campaigns in Scotland, England and Wales to alert people to the issue.
The threat to cheques disappeared after the Payments Council abandoned plans to abolish them in 2018.
Digital and mobile fundraising continued to grow, helped by the launch of a free text donation service, JustTextGiving, by the mobile phone operator Vodafone and the donation website JustGiving. Everything Everywhere became the final major mobile phone network to announce that it had dropped all its fees on text donations.