Share

Statutory fundraising regulation and new constitutional form should go, say lawyers

Julian Blake
News

Statutory fundraising regulation and new constitutional form should go, say lawyers1

Fundraising | Tania Mason | 21 Jan 2011

The Charity Law Association has advised the Charity Commission that the Charitable Incorporated Organisation and statutory fundraising regulation should both be scrapped in light of the regulator’s forthcoming budget cuts.

In its response to the Commission’s consultation on its strategy review, the CLA wrote: “The CIO is not a necessity in changed circumstances.  The same is true of statutory fundraising regulation.”

Julian Blake (pictured), chair of the CLA, said he understood that there was political momentum behind the CIO and that it was outside the scope of the Commission’s review, but the CLA couldn’t see why.

“If we are talking about cutting costs, the introduction of the CIO will be quite a significant cost and we can survive without it,” he said. “We think it should be reviewed along with everything else.”

The statutory fundraising regulation referred to is the proposed enactment this year of part three of the Charities Act, which seeks to make the Commission responsible for regulating public collections of money.  The Commission has never been happy about accepting this role and there appears to be little political will to drive it through.  

Blake said the CLA wanted to add its voice to those that feel it is an unnecessary new statutory function.  “The self-regulatory regime has evolved to the point where it is looking after fundraising perfectly well,” he said.  “Also this goes against whole deregulatory principle.”

The CLA’s submission adds that there is a “reasonable, practical case for some form of proportionate registration/annual/advice fee-charging based on service provision, provided it distinguishes between charities that can pay and charities that would find fees a burden”.

It also queries whether a large charities section is necessary given that large charities can afford to pay for appropriate advice.

Gareth Morgan
Professor of Charity Studies
Sheffield Hallam University
21 Jan 2011

We desperately need Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) as one of the most essential steps in making things simpler for people running charities. I believe the recent Charity Law Association (CLA) submission on the future priorities for the Charity Commission has got things completely wrong by suggesting CIOs are not a priority.

I am a member of the CLA, but it is crucial to remember that all CLA submissions on policy issues are drafted by a small group, and on this occasion I do not feel the working party is representative of the wider CLA membership. In fact, it is extraordinary that leading CLA members are now downplaying the importance of the CIO when it was the CLA who lobbied so effectively for this new legal structure when the Charities Bill was under consideration. I served on the CLA working party in 2008/09 which invested massive effort in commenting on the draft CIO regulations which had been issued - we made around 70 pages of comments on how the regulations could be improved to make the CIO as simple and effective as possible.

It is true that for large charities with ready access to lawyers there are few challenges in running a charitable company and so the CIO offers little benefit. But for thousands of charities in the £50K to £500K income band, the real choice is accepting all the liabilities of working as an unincorporated charity, or coping with the complexities of company law and charity law together. The CIO is the perfect solution to this issue.

The CIO was one of the central features of the Charities Act 2006 - much welcomed by the sector as a major de-regulatory measure. The Minister (Nick Hurd) committed in Parliament that CIOs will finally be implemented this spring, and we must stick with this.

Moreover, CIOs will actually save work for the Charity Commission, because in a CIO there are many fewer risks of trustees getting confused on issues such as what accounts they need to submit, or getting inconsistencies between trustee registers with the Commission and directors registers at Companies House. So, I predict that charities sturctured as CIOs will have fewer governance problems and hence less need for Charity Commission interventions.

So - please - let's help those running and charities and help the Commission to work more effectively by supporting the implementation of CIOs as planned.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Amnesty charity reserves fell to 18 days' spend

23 Apr 2014

The charitable arm of Amnesty International UK had 18 days' worth of free reserves at the end of 2013,...

Northern Rock Foundation says closure 'inevitable'

22 Apr 2014

The Northern Rock Foundation will close after it failed to reach a funding agreement with Virgin Money,...

HMRC doubles scrutiny of charity gift aid claims following Cup Trust

22 Apr 2014

HM Revenue & Customs more than doubled the number of investigations into claims for gift aid in the...

Horse charity faces closure amid claims it is owed £70k by council

23 Apr 2014

A horse charity in Northern Ireland has said it may have to shut because of a massive bill it believes...

Shawcross terror warning in national press

22 Apr 2014

Terrorist abuse of charities is “potentially the most deadly” problem the Charity Commission faces,...

Husband and wife jailed for three years for charity theft

22 Apr 2014

The former chair of Lincoln and District Mencap and his wife have both been jailed for fraud and theft...

'Technology can offer charities more than just online donations'

10 Apr 2014

Charities are focusing too much on using digital tools for fundraising instead of how technology can be...

Amnesty calls for 'full and frank disclosure' on alleged US surveillance

9 Apr 2014

Amnesty International has warned that alleged mass surveillance by the American intelligence agency NSA...

Virgin Money Giving launches app following year of growth

1 Apr 2014

Virgin Money Giving has launched an app for users after reporting that 30 per cent of traffic to its platform...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising