Policy never stops

Caroline Drummond, policy officer at the Institute of Fundraising, highlights some summer news for members

Caroline Drummond
Caroline Drummond

Although traditionally seen as the slow news month of the year, August proved to be an interesting time for the policy team at the Institute of Fundraising. As well as reflecting on the issues raised in the controversial debate on chief executive pay, and welcoming the news that NCVO and the Charity Commission are to introduce new guidelines for charities and trustees, we have been working on several consultations aimed at improving the lot of fundraisers.

After engagement and discussion with members regarding proposals to streamline Gift Aid for digital donations, we have been preparing a response to the government Gift Aid and digital giving consultation. The proposals also consider the Gift Aid process more generally, with a view to simplifying the system. The consultation itself is extensive, but the IoF has focused on some key areas that include:

- Shorter declarations for donations with charities assuming liability for any shortfall of unpaid tax.

- Increasing the role of intermediaries (for example, JustGiving) to streamline the donation process.

- The potential for a universal Gift Aid declaration database to remove the need for individual declarations for each separate donation.

As part of a strategy to strengthen the social investment market, the government has proposed a system of tax relief for private investment in social enterprise. The consultation period for this closed on 6 September, so we have been busy collecting feedback and gathering thoughts on how the proposed system would affect charities. 

One area we have been discussing is the effect investment will have on donation rates, if any. Other areas of interest include how much uptake the scheme will actually generate, given the weighty restrictions on the size and type of investment available.

There have also been some minor changes and additions to the Code of Fundraising Practice concerning Scottish organisations, which have been amended on our online version of the code. See here for a list of the changes made.

Finally, we’ll be keeping an eye on how the new lobbying bill might affect charities. We’re hoping for some more clarity on parts that might affect fundraising as the bill progresses. Let’s see if September provides as much heated debate.

This article appears on a page edited by the Institute of Fundraising and hosted by ThirdSector.co.uk

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