Money matters: David Ainsworth's round-up of what's happening in the finance world

This week's column goes from IT to VAT, via Phil Hope.

- The Charities Aid Foundation is offering a series of free IT workshops in partnership with software company IBM.Charities will be able to attend seminars on IT planning, impact measurement, project management and web design. Email for further information.

- Third sector groups that are already up to speed on IT may want to enter information consultancy TFPL's social impact awards, which recognise charities' use of technology in improving collaboration. Entrants have to propose a novel use of information technology to provide a social objective. Five finalists will win free places at Ebic, TFPL's conference, where delegates will select a final winner. See

- Third sector minister Phil Hope has announced that the Government is seeking partners to help hand out its Grassroots Grants to local community organisations, which will be distributed at the end of the summer. The Office of the Third Sector has put aside £80m in grants and £50m in endowments for groups with a turnover of less than £20,000.

- The charity VAT team at accounting firm Saffery Champness has been judged the best VAT team in the UK. The team, one of only five in the country with a specialism in charity VAT, won the Best VAT Team award at the LexisNexis Taxation Awards. "It is gratifying that our efforts help mitigate the unfair burden of irrecoverable VAT placed upon the sector," said Russell Moore, head of VAT at Saffery Champness.

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