Human Dignity Trust wins appeal | Big fall in direct debit cancellation rates | Halo Trust suspends chief executive

Plus: Increase in serious incident reports to Charity Commission | Regulator inquiry into St Paul's School | Pensions "a bigger threat than Islamic extremism"

Rapidata direct debit report
Rapidata direct debit report

The charity tribunal has ruled that the Charity Commission must allow the registration of the Human Dignity Trust, an organisation of lawyers supporting the decriminalisation of homosexuality in countries across the world.

The cancellation rate for charity direct debits plummeted in 2013 to pre-downturn levels, according to the direct debit processing company Rapidata. Its Charity Direct Debit Tracking Report 2014 shows that cancellation rates last year fell to their lowest average rate since 2006.

The landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust has suspended its chief executive and co-founder Guy Willoughby after a "serious deterioration in relations" between him and the board. The move comes only months after it emerged that Willoughby was receiving donated money to pay school fees for three of his children as part of his remuneration.

The number of serious incidents reported by charities to the Charity Commission rose significantly in 2013/14, the regulator’s annual report shows. The regulator received reports of 1,280 serious incidents, which included fraud, theft, suspicions of links with terrorism or allegations of abuse involving vulnerable beneficiaries, compared with 971 in the previous year.

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the charitable independent establishment St Paul’s School in south-west London in relation to its safeguarding policy and handling of allegations of sexual abuse. Since February, a total of six arrests have been made as part of Operation Winthorpe, a Metropolitan Police investigation into historical abuse allegations.

Charity pensions are the "elephant in the room" that few voluntary sector organisations are equipped to face, according to Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group. "If you’ve been watching the sector press of late, you may be of the opinion that it’s Islamic extremism," she said.

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