Digital round-up: IVAR launches digital resource for charities

Plus: OSCR seeks volunteers for online application testing; Charity Commission launches website for trustee waivers

The Institute for Voluntary Action Research has unveiled a free new microsite that offers advice to the sector on a number of topics.

Launched this week, the site provides advice on merger, applying for core funding, working across sectors and planning strategy through a combination of questions and answers, case studies and videos. For example, leaders of two charities in North Yorkshire share their experiences of merger and what has changed some months later in two short films.

Ben Cairns, director of IVAR, said the site had been designed to assist "time-poor chief executives and trustees".

"We want to support the small, voluntary and community organisations that we’ve been working with since 2000," he said. "As our reports are often written for funders, lessons for the voluntary sector can get lost. Here, we’ve presented them in a way that we hope is useful to senior people with little time."

OSCR website

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is calling for volunteers to help test a new system that enables organisations to make online applications for charitable status before it is launched later this year.

The regulator said it wanted to make registration as simple as possible for the applicant while also allowing the streamlining of decision-making processes within the OSCR.

In a statement on its website, the OSCR said: "We really need the benefit of your views, whether you are someone who helps organisations apply for charitable status, have recent experience of applying for charitable status for your charity, are thinking of making an application or are just interested. Testing with real users helps us to understand their needs and create the best possible experience."

Anyone interested in testing the application can find out more on the regulator’s website.

Charity Commission

People affected by new trustee automatic disqualification rules that come into effect on 1 August this year can now apply to the Charity Commission online for a waiver to take up or remain in a charity trustee or restricted senior manager position.

The commission has produced detailed guidance for people and charities about the rule changes, which will help them to work out whether and how they are affected. Currently, trustees are automatically disqualified for reasons such as bankruptcy, disqualification from being a company director or having previously been removed as a trustee. New reasons will include being in contempt of court, being named under certain anti-terrorism legislation or being on the sex offenders register. These rules will also apply to some charity senior manager positions as well as charity trustees.

Those who think they might be affected by the new rules are advised to check the new criteria and, if seeking a waiver, to apply as soon as possible.

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