Osborne expands limits on small donations | £100m foundation for social investment launched | FRSB membership grows

Plus: Charity Commission chair calls for evidence about Plymouth Brethren | Red Nose Day raises record £78.1m on the night | Baroness Delyth Morgan of Drefelin to lead merged breast cancer charity

George Osborne
George Osborne

An expansion of the limits on the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, a training programme for fundraisers in small charities and VAT refunds for blood bike charities were among the announcements made by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in this week’s Budget.

Access: The Foundation for Social Investment, a new £100m government-backed charity that describes itself as a "sister organisation to Big Society Capital", has launched. Seb Elsworth, deputy chief executive of the Social Investment Business, will be its first chief executive.

Membership of the Fundraising Standards Board grew by almost 10 per cent in 2014, figures from the regulator’s annual report show. The number of fundraising charities that signed up voluntarily for regulation by the FRSB rose from 1,547 in 2013 to 1,695 last year. Of these, 453 had a voluntary income of £1m or more.

The chair of the Charity Commission has invited anyone with evidence about Plymouth Brethren congregations to present it to the regulator as part of its ongoing monitoring of Brethren charities. In a letter to The Times published this week, William Shawcross says that the regulator’s 2014 decision to register as a charity the Preston Down Trust, a Devon-based congregation of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, had been "independent and robust".

This year’s Red Nose Day raised a record £78.1m on the night, taking the amount generated by Comic Relief to more than £1bn during its first 30 years.
The amount raised for this year’s Red Nose Day, which runs every two years, with Sport Relief in between, was £3m more on the night than was raised by the last event in 2013, which was itself a record.

Baroness Delyth Morgan of Drefelin, chief executive of the research charity Breast Cancer Campaign and previously head of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, which campaigns for earlier diagnosis, will become chief executive of the new charity formed from the merger of the two next month. The two charities, which together have 212 staff and a combined income of £28.3m according to their most recent annual accounts, announced in November that they would merge.

This is a selection of the top stories: for the week's full output, click here.

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