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The Fundraising Regulator has concluded from its latest review that charities need to more fully comply with audit rules.

28th October 2020

On the 14th September 2020 the Fundraising Regulator published its latest review into the extent to which charities report about their fundraising practices in their annual report.

It found that 85% of charities report on at least one of the audit requirements. However, only 21% provided all of the required information and 15% reported on none of the requirements.

This is the second review of this kind and the Fundraising Regulator concluded that very little improvement had been made in the last year. The areas that were particularly lacking in information were activities carried out by third parties on their behalf, their commitment to voluntary regulations, complaints reviewed and what they were doing to protect vulnerable people and the public during fundraising.

The Fundraising Regulator has updated its guidance on the requirements in the hope that this will encourage charities to fully address all the requirements in their future annual report.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) issues alert to clarify how door to door collection bags should be labelled

28th October 2020

When a person donates in a door to door collection of goods it should be in the knowledge that a proportion of that collection goes to a charity but not all of it. The commercial participator should take responsibility for this information being clear.

All collection bags should have the company name and charity name on both sides of the bag with equal prominence given to both names and logos.

This news alert is linked to the ASA’s 2017 guidance which was issued following a company breaking the CAP codes. This charity was using collection bags to mislead consumers into believing they were donating directly to the charity.

This guidance does not apply however where charity shops collect goods on behalf of the charity to be sold in the shop. The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator expect charities to monitor compliance by a third party fundraiser or commercial partner. This includes checking that the collection bags adhere to the ASA’s guidelines.

Interim Manager appointed at Islamic Research Foundation International

28th October 2020

The Charity Commission has appointed an Interim Manager to the charity Islamic Research Foundation International. This is as part of an ongoing enquiry addressing ‘serious concerns’ over the charity’s governance.

The charity was contacted in the past about its governance and now in its latest filing with Companies House it has been revealed that the foundation gave more than one million pounds to the corporation that owns Peace TV.

Peace TV no longer have a licence to broadcast in the UK. They were suspended in 2019 after they breached Ofcom’s rules on hate speech, airing programmes containing homophobic and anti-Semitic hate speech.

An Interim Manager was appointed in July and part of her job will be to consider whether the charity has a viable future. There are ongoing concerns that the charity’s board will not be willing or able to ‘appropriately adapt to the issues raised. There is also a continuing inquiry into how the trustees intend to use the funds that are now not being used to fund Peace TV and whether trustees may be personally benefiting from funds intended to go towards charitable purposes.

Al Rayan Bank decision to ban transactions outside of the EU could force Muslim charities out of business

28th October 2020

Recently a letter was sent by the Al Rayan Bank to dozens of charities as a sixty-day notice on the changing of the bank’s policies about transferring money overseas. They state, ‘whilst you will still be able to make international payments… to beneficiaries within the EU, you will no longer be able to make international payments to any beneficiary outside the EU’.

This means that many charities will ‘go out of business’ because they will not be able to fund their development work in other countries.

Many Muslim charities will be affected by this and have expressed their concerns, feeling already that Al Rayan were a ‘last resort’ after frustration at their treatment by mainstream banks moved them to have to use Al Rayan.

Follow up

28th October 2020

Following up on the recent story about the tribunal overturning the Charity Commission’s decision to appoint an Interim Manager at the Sikh Community Broadcast Company Limited. It is thought this is the first case of this nature to overturn the decision to appoint an IM. The latest is that the Charity Commission are now seeking new trustees to run the charity.

The Sikh Community Broadcast Company Limited was established to advance the religion and charitable work of the religion and charitable work of the Sikh community. The tribunal said it was ‘regrettable’ that the Commission did not choose to appoint skilled trustees from a Sikh background. The Charity Commission is now in search of persons in the right area that fit this background, particularly those with experience in broadcasting, finance and charity fundraising. The charity is still subject to an ongoing inquiry.

 

 

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