Alan Sharpe: Looking after reserves
Interviews

Alan Sharpe: Looking after reserves

2 Sep 2014 | David Ainsworth

Alan Sharpe of the RSPB tells David Ainsworth that understanding people is the key to success as an FD.

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Alan Sharpe: Looking after reserves

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First-time finance director

Ann Casey's daughter encouraged her to apply for the director of finance and administration role at the National Children's Bureau two years ago. "My daughter has worked here," Casey says, "and said it was an interesting place." 

Future-proofing

Tania Mason summarises the CFDG’s new report Sustainability in Practice and picks out some pertinent excerpts At its annual conference in London last week, the Charity Finance Directors’ Group published Sustainability in Practice, a report which urges finance directors to recognise the importance of improving their performance on environmental and social sustainability, and offers some advice as to how.

No changes to Working Time Directive

Following a process of negotiation which has lasted five years, the European member states and the European Parliament have failed to reach an agreement on changes to the Working Time Directive. The European Parliament proposed the amendments to the Directive primarily because, as it stands, member states can opt out of the maximum 48-hour week. The Parliament considered that to allow member states to opt out of legislation which had the purpose of safeguarding health and safety was not acceptable. The UK currently, along with several other member states, allows its employers to invite workers to opt out of the maximum 48-hour week. The UK has argued that it is crucial for the economy and the well-being of businesses for individuals to be able to opt out.

When are charities not eligible for zero rate tax relief on advertising?

Charity advertising qualifies for zero rate tax relief, but not in all circumstances. The rules have not kept up with technology and lead to frequent disputes with HMRC as Lorraine Owens and Graham Elliott report.

The widely held view that charities should stick to doing good works and stay clear of campaigning is a recipe for social stagnation. The world has changed, charities need to change with it and speak truth to power about what it takes to solve root causes of societal ills rather than pussyfoot around problems.

» Liberal influence: Andrew Hind interviews Lord Rennard

The agenda setter - interview with the new Funding Commission chief

The new Funding Commission aims to transform the funding landscape, its chair Rachel Lomax tells Tania Mason.

Removing a chief executive - how to do it well

What if you want a chief executive to go before they have signalled they are ready to leave the job? Any board-initiated departure is likely to be sticky. It is all about removing the employee while the reputation of the board, the charity and the chief executive comes out as positively as possible in a difficult situation

Charity mergers

Fresh from completing the merger of Help the Aged and Age Concern, Anne-Marie Piper takes an overview of charity mergers in the ?rst of a two-part article. Recent research undertaken for the Charity Commission on the impact of the current economic downturn1 indicated that 3 per cent of charities were considering a merger (although the figure rose to 6 per cent for both large charities (income between £100,000 and £1m) and the very largest charities (income over £1m)).

Total nightmare

For some endowed charities, falling stock markets may bring serious problems – and not just on paper. The severe decline in share prices over the last two years is bad news for just about every charity with investments. Nevertheless, if you are a genuinely long-term investor with no intention of selling equities in the near future, you may be able to remain calm while the storm passes over. Even as their share prices fall, plenty of companies are still paying dividends, and it is to this income that many charities look when budgeting their annual expenditure.

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