29 Oct 2013
Shelter has come under attack from the letting industry over its call to ban letting agency fees for tenants, with the Estate Agency Foundation withdrawing financial support for the charity and letting agents considering a £50,000 “fighting fund” to legally challenge Shelter.
The Retail Trust is stepping up its fundraising efforts to cope with the drastic rise in calls to its national helpline for employees in the retail sector.
How pro bono legal work is helping to bolster civil society in Eastern Europe.
Could an investment strategy be the solution to schools maintaining charitable status? Graham Wainer The 2006 Charities Act compels independent schools to justify their on-going charitable status by proving their worth to the wider community. Governors, bursars and head teachers have had to recognise this shift in emphasis and its potential implications for their schools' financial planning. The benefits that charitable status confers are significant, namely exemption from both capital gains and income tax as well as no inheritance tax implications for benefactors. In 2004, the Independent Schools Council estimated that the annual fiscal benefit of charitable status amounted to nearly £100m.
If this succeeds it will sound the death knell to the gift aid regime, which was set up by the government to encourage donors to give generously by handing across to the charity the basic rate tax that the donor had suffered on the amount they were now giving away. If a mechanism is now found to simply force HMRC to hand over the tax but at no cost to the donor whatsoever (and indeed if you are a higher rate tax payer a mechanism that reduces your tax bill), then the government will have no choice but to shut down the gift aid regime.
Is it time to take a new approach to investing in alternatives, asks Ewen Cameron Watt The old investment adage about not putting all your eggs in one basket may be a hackneyed cliché, but recent market movements illustrate its ongoing pertinence. Appropriate diversification across a broad range of asset classes can mitigate some of that market volatility and ultimately improve returns as illustrated by the model pioneered by some of the university foundations in the US. The benefits of using alternatives to achieve this greater level of diversification include generally low correlation with traditional asset classes such as equities and bonds, significant diversification benefits which can help to improve overall portfolio efficiency, and illiquidity premium for providers of long-term capital such as charities (both in terms of the endowment or more permanent portion of their portfolio and any defined benefit pension schemes they may have). Additionally, certain alternative asset classes offer some protection against inflation surprises.
CAN Mezzanine has announced the purchase of a third property in Old Street, London, to open in Spring 2009.
Ian Allsop casts his eye over 2008. As it is the last Charity Finance of the year, I thought it would be appropriate to have a look back over the last 12 months. It's a common device in Sunday newspapers towards the end of the year, as an easy way of filling pages. Throw in a quiz and book choices from a few famous people and you can cover acres of white space pretty easily. Of course this works better if it has been a busy year rather than one where very little has happened but we'll give it a go.