Tories pledge to build on big society | Labour commits to developing social economy | Tax group renews criticism of HMRC over direct mail

Plus: IoF consults members on plans to cut number of trustees from 18 to 12 | FRSB rules fundraising firm failed to state clearly how funds were allocated | New service allows charities to recieve donations through Twitter

Conservative Party manifesto
Conservative Party manifesto

In its general election manifesto, The Conservative Party has pledged to continue building a big society by guaranteeing all teenagers places on the National Citizen Service, scaling up the use of social impact bonds and payment by results, and giving employees three days a year of volunteering leave.

A Labour government would support and develop the social economy and create a new National Primary Childcare Service, a not-for-profit organisation to promote the charitable delivery of extracurricular activities for children, the party said in its general election manifesto.

The Charity Tax Group has renewed its criticism of HM Revenue & Customs about a lack of clarity on the revenue’s policy for the VAT treatment of direct mail. In December, HMRC said it would issue guidance that charities and their suppliers should implement by 1 April this year, but it is yet to publish the document.

The Institute of Fundraising is consulting members about a governance review that could result in it cutting the size of its board by a third. According to the consultation document, published on the IoF website, the review was prompted by a report last year from the professional services firm PwC on how self-regulation of fundraising was working, which flagged up a number of areas in which the IoF’s governance could be improved. Areas being reviewed include the size and composition of the IoF’s board, which it is considering reducing from 18 to 12 members.

The Fundraising Standards Board has upheld a complaint that a company running schools-based fundraising events failed to make clear how the funds it raised would be allocated. In its latest ruling, the FRSB says it has upheld the complaint at board level – the third and final stage of its complaints process – but has rejected a complaint that the Sports For Champions fundraising model, which involved schoolchildren competing with their peers for sponsorship in return for incentives, was unethical.

A new service has launched this week that will enable charities to receive donations directly through Twitter. The social payment platform, known as #Donate, has been launched by the fundraising and marketing consultancy The Good Agency using the social media payment platform #PAY, which was developed by the technology incubator Dave’s Lab.

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

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