Third sector management, finance

Includes guidance on talking to trustees, running effective meetings and investing in social growth...

2014 Workforce Survey Top Line Findings

NICVA (December 2014)
The survey explores salaries, recruitment, pensions, benefits and retention in the voluntary and community sector workforce.

Above and Beyond in Trusteeship- NPC, December 2016

This guide draws on the experiences and insights of active, ambitious trustees, as well as NPC’s own knowledge gained over nearly 15 years working with charities and funders.

Download here

A blueprint for restoring the sector’s reputation
NFPSynergy (March 2016)
Joe Saxton draws on more than 25 years’ experience in the non-profit sector to write this blueprint. He believes the problems the sector faces are much deeper and more widespread than just fundraising. He looks at the bigger picture and talks about the need to modernise the sector to make it fit for the 21st century, as well as the importance of bringing our key stakeholders with us on this journey.

A Brief Guide to the investment of charitable funds
The Charity Commission, 2013
Aimed at charitable trustees, this guide sets out some of the main principles and considerations involved in investment of charitable funds, including for co-mingling funds.

A question of balance – a guide to the Chair and Chief Executive relationship
Association of Chairs (November 2015)
This guide identifies what is needed at key stages in the Chair-CEO relationship, explores nine key themes where the Chair needs to strike the right balance, encourages Chairs to be emotionally aware, offers insights from research and provides pointers for when things go wrong.

Actually doing more with less: avoiding the traps of traditional budget-cutting
Monitor, 2011
This short and practical report presents a new strategy for unlocking more value out of fewer resources, particularly aimed at the public sector. 

Behaving like a system
Collaborate (November 2015)
This report, funded by LankellyChase Foundation, examines the preconditions for systems change in a place. It unpicks the critical behaviours and vision that make system change more likely, more deliverable and more sustainable. 

CC14: Charities and Investment Matters: a guide for trustees
Charity Commission, 2011
This updated investment guidance describes the legal duties and principles that apply to charity investments and the risks that trustee must address. It covers programme-related investment, revenue participation or quasi-equity, outcomes-based investment (e.g. social impact bonds), loans and loan funds, and “mixed motive” investments. 

Challenges of organizational learning
Katie Smith Milway, Bridgespan Group, 2011
While most non-profit leaders view knowledge sharing as a critical means to advance their organisations' missions, many organisations struggle to do it effectively. Based on a survey of 116 groups, this report finds that most nonprofits, regardless of size and field, struggle to develop clear, measurable goals that connect knowledge sharing to improvements in performance. The report encourages best practice such as articulating clear goals around knowledge sharing, incentivising knowledge sharing, and showing how it can be managed and applied.

Charities at risk of financial distress: Group case report
Charity Commission, September 2016
The Charity Commission’s objectives include to ensure trustees comply with their duties and to increase public trust and confidence in charities. The closure of a number of charities in recent months has highlighted the importance of trustees managing financial difficulties well, the public interest in charities (particularly high profile charities) that collapse due to financial difficulties and the negative impact this can have on public trust and confidence in charities more widely.

In response, the commission:

·         carried out a proactive scrutiny and review of various charity accounts that signal they may be in financial difficulty

·         included the theme of charities at risk of financial distress in its programme of proactive monitoring and inspection visits

Charities: strategy development, implementation and review
Charity Commission (November 2014)

This review was carried out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) on behalf of the Charity Commission. It looks at charities’ strategy development, implementation and review by analysing material provided by 26 charities with annual incomes under £5m. The report makes a number of recommendations for the Charity Commission’s guidance, regulatory approach and future research. The Commission’s response sets out how it and other key players in the sector can take forward these recommendations.

Charity Commission publishes three sets of updated guidance
Charity Commission (January 2016)
Charity trustees must engage with and use finance guidance from the regulator if they are to run their charities effectively, the Charity Commission says. The three sets of updated guidance are:
Managing a charity’s finances: planning, managing difficulties and insolvency (CC12)
Charity reserves: building resilience (CC19)
Charity governance, finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask

Charity Commission: revised public benefit guidance
Charity Commission (2013)
The revised guidance has been published and is available in online and hard copy formats. It is split into three short, high level guides: Public Benefit: The Public Benefit Requirement, Public Benefit: Running a Charity and Public Benefit: Reporting.

Charity fraud: a guide for the trustees and managers of charities 

Community organisations: a guide to effectiveness
Angela Kail, Sarah Keen and Tris Lumley, New Philanthropy Capital, 2011
A practical guide to help community organisations ensure they are as effective as possible and communicate that effectiveness. The paper covers six areas; activities, results, leadership, people and resources, finances and ambition and is based on NPC’s methodology for charity analysis. 

Consortia for the delivery of public services: the issues for small and medium-sized charities
Charity Commission, 2011
The benefits that can come from working in consortia, including accessing additional funding, building capacity through peer support and sharing resources and back office facilities. It is a careful look at issues of governance, mitigation of risk, and other important factors.

Could these 3 ideas reshape governance?
World Economic Forum (February 2016)
A blog looking at lack of trust in governance models around the world.

Financial incentives and their potential to drive inclusive growth
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (April 2016)
This paper considers the use of financial incentives by government. It examines:

Fitter for Purpose
Paul Hamlyn Foundation (April 2016)
This report provides an account of the Fitter for Purpose programme delivery, the main impacts of the programme and the lessons that PHF can learn to inform future organisational development approaches.

Future World Giving: Building Trust in Charitable Giving
Charities Aid Foundation, January 2014
Heavy handed government policy and regulatory mismanagement in many parts of the world have damaged the public reputation of charities, according to the report by the Charities Aid Foundation, an international charity which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to charities and not-for-profit organisations. The report warns that government-fuelled suspicion of not-for-profit organisations could jeopardise efforts to promote giving among new generations of middle class people emerging across the world, which could contribute up to $224 billion a year to good causes by 2030.

Getting on brilliantly: running effective meetings and events
Annette Zera and Susan Murray
A distillation of much experience into a book available as a free download. The book contains over 70 different tried and tested ideas to make meetings more participative, productive and enjoyable. The website also contains reports of some of the events Annette has facilitated.

Gift Aid and reliefs on donations
HM Revenue and Customs (November 2013)
A study to examine how HMRC monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of reliefs on donations, and how it addresses tax avoidance, fraud and error relating to these reliefs.

·         How such schemes might work in practice and the conditions necessary for their success.

How to defuse the voluntary sector pensions timebomb – The GuardianSeptember 2013
The combination of generous schemes and poor investment means that some charities, in extreme cases now face liabilities in high levels. There are a range of options available to charities that want to cut large down pension deficits, but they have to choose the right one for them. 

Independence Undervalued: The Voluntary Sector In 2014
Independence Panel
This is the third annual assessment by the Panel. The report concludes that independence is undervalued and under serious threat, with a deterioration in some key areas compared to the previous year.  The Panel expresses concerns that the voluntary sector is losing its ability to protect the most vulnerable in society as a result.

Into the Red? The State of the NHS' Finances
Nuffield Trust (July 2014)
The report takes a comprehensive look at how the finances of the hospitals and commissioning groups that make up the NHS in England have held up under austerity. This report argues that, after holding up well under austerity since 2010, the NHS’ finances are now starting to come under severe financial pressure.

Investing in social growth - Can the Big Society be more than a slogan?
The Young Foundation, 2011
How the Big Society idea could be made more tangible and useful, drawing on many examples ranging from community organising to jobs, social enterprise and data management. It identifies the gap between the ambition of the Big Society and the modest proposals currently associated with it, and of the risk of big public expenditure cuts. It shows how government could develop better tools for judging the social value of public programmes and spending, to reduce the harm associated with deficit reduction. 

Keeping Account: A Guide to Charity Financial Analysis
This new report by NPC is designed to give advice to funders and others on how to get a meaningful understanding of a charity’s financial position. It argues that the amount that charities spend on administration and support costs is not a good indicator of how efficient they are.

Key findings include:
75% of staff in the organisations surveyed are female
Females are more likely than males to hold a part-time position, while males are more likely to hold a full-time position
Despite representing 75% of the workforce, just 44% of chief executive roles are held by females

Lord Mayor’s Appeal toolkit released
The City Of London Corporation has launched Joining Forces: a good practice guide for corporate community partnerships, containing a practical advice on how the private and social sectors can work together to address social challenges.

LVSC’s Personnel, Employment Advice and Conciliation Service describes itself as delivering peace of mind for the voluntary and community sector through expert advice and support of HR issues. Services include pay as you go advice (£30 + VAT for 30 minutes), subscription packages, and full advice for the smallest groups one day per month. A reduction of 10 % is also offered to members of NCVO. See here for more detail.

Making it count: A report into financial management in small charities
Charity Finance Group, 2013
A useful report for both trustees and funders of smaller charities, that offers insights into the challenges of good financial management, the elements of financial capability and sustainability in organisations and how these can be fostered. 

Managing risk: operating in the new world
Charity Finance Directors Group, 2011
The annual risk survey report, with information from 288 charities about how they are responding to social, policy and financial changes. It highlights a “fundamental imbalance” between supply and demand in the sector, with charities seeing increased demand for their services but being unable to invest enough to meet that demand and few doing enough to secure their long-term future.

Mutuals: progress in transfer of public services
A Cabinet Office website collates information on the experience of developing mutuals and some sources of advice. One case study is of the employee-led mutual that is running four former RB Kensington and Chelsea youth centres and supporting some of the other youth work in the borough (here).

New rules and guidance from the Charity Commission
The Charity Commission has published new regulations and guidance for permanently endowed charities that want to adopt a ‘total-return’ investment policy. New legislation from 1 January will allow trustees to adopt a total-return approach, which allows them to treat increases in the capital value of their assets in the same way as income from those assets, without permission.

Online charity search facility
Charities Aid Foundation website that allows searches for charities according to 17 different characteristics, including location, mission, income and number of employees or volunteers. Charity Trends draws on data submitted digitally by charities to the Charity Commission on annual returns.

A Breath of Fresh Air: young people as charity trustees
Charity Commission, 2010
This report examines the experience of 18-24 year-olds as charity trustees and young volunteers’ attitudes to trusteeship. It identifies as problems that young people are significantly under-represented in this role, that few know about it, and that charities are failing to think how to attract them.

Ready for Change Tool
A free, easy-to-use tool from Rocket Science for voluntary organisations preparing for and managing change, helping users to reflect on strengths and weaknesses in the context of the need to adapt to the challenging environment. The tool focuses on leadership, finance, evidencing impact and business development. It can be used by individuals or in a group context (e.g. a board assessment or session with service users/commissioners. Rocket Science offers support in using the tool, or in analysing, interpreting or acting on the results, or in tailoring it for specific needs. More information from John Griffiths.

Realising the Potential for Social Replication
Dan Berelowitz, Mark Richardson and Matt Towner (2013)
This report from the International Centre for Social Franchising research for the Big Lottery Fund identified access to finance as a key reason for organisations not scaling up, with grant funders as essential to the process. This research calls for the creation of a Social Replication Grant Fund and recommends the creation of a social replication toolkit to support organisation. 

The FCA’s regulatory approach to crowdfunding (and similar activities) – Consultation paper
Financial Conduct Authority (October 2013)
This consultation paper is one of a series of consultation papers that will determine the FCA’s approach to the regulation of consumer credit activities – this will include responsibility for regulating ‘loan-based crowdfunding’, also known as peer-to-peer lending platforms.

Scaling up for the Big Society
New Philanthropy Capital, 2010
Argues that charities have an important role to play in providing sustainable and scalable solutions to the toughest problems; it offers ways to assess evidence of social benefit, and guidance on deciding what to scale up. 

Sharing what matters: Foundation transparency
The Centre for Effective Philanthropy (February 2016)
Foundation CEOs’ views on transparency, which largely match those of grantees, focus on the substance of their work, as opposed to financial disclosures or governance practices. However, foundation practice lags behind CEOs’ beliefs, especially in the area of sharing information about what works.

Story of a merger and Merger as strategy
IVAR, 2012
Two reports based on feedback from staff and trustees involved in the respective mergers of DTA and bassac. The reports provide an insight into the planning, discussions and challenges of merger, as well as some of the critical success factors. 

Strategies for funding the voluntary and community sector in London
(2009) Meeting covering action following the recession; NCVO's Funding Commisssion.

Supportive to the core: why unrestricted funding matters
Institute for Philanthropy, 2009
Core funding has traditionally been a tricky issue for funders and voluntary organisations alike. Some funders are reluctant to support core costs, seeing project funding as providing more direct benefit whilst some voluntary organisations find it difficult to communicate their core needs. On both sides there can be reluctance against funding, or admitting to, ‘overheads’ even when these represent essential basics like HR, IT and accounting costs. The report looks at how core support can increase grant potential, addressing the rationale and methodology of good core support. Case studies are offered from the perspective of funder and beneficiary. 

Survive and thrive
Race Online
Good use of technology to support organisations to find new routes into funding and reach more people – donors, policy makers or beneficiaries. Eight UK funders have been discussing the role of technology in the modernisation of charities and to improve their efficiency and this guide was a result, with case studies and tips on how to use technology to cut costs, raise more money, build communities, increase reach and more vividly demonstrate impact. 

Sustainable withdrawal rates for charities
Newton Investment Management (2013)
This Newton white paper explores what constitutes a sustainable rate of withdrawal for a charity to make from its investment portfolio. 

Tackling fraud in the charity sector: a summary of conference proceedings
Fraud Advisory Panel (February 2016)
This report highlights the main learning points from the first national conference on charity fraud held in late 2015, and provides signposts to extra sources of information, support and best practice. It concludes with a summary of top tips for preventing, detecting and responding to fraud. 

Talking to trustees
Clare Yeowart and Jane Thomas, New Philanthropy Capital, 2010
How trustees can help their charities to be as effective as possible. The paper is based on discussions at a series of seminars for charity trustees that NPC organised with The Clothworkers’ Company. 

·         The lessons learned from existing incentives or outcome-based payment schemes.

·         The scope to use financial incentives to encourage and support city-level stakeholders to connect growth and poverty in local strategies.

Thinking about… merger
From the Institute for Voluntary Action Research with Bates Wells and Braithwaite solicitors, for organisations considering merger and bringing together the experience of a wide variety of voluntary organisations and advisers: reasons for thinking about merger, stages in the process of merger (including legal aspects) and what can help to make a merger work.

This practical guide, the work of some 15 organisations including the Association of Charitable Foundations, offers guidance on how to avoid fraud, how to spot it and how to deal with any instances. It covers staff training and vetting, appropriate policies and controls, and how to ensure fraud is reported. It emphasises the risks of identity theft and steps to avoid it. 

Too small to fail: How small and medium-sized charities are adapting to change and challenges
IPPR North (February 2016)
The report assesses the value of small and medium-sized charities (those with annual incomes of between £25,000 and £1 million). It recommends more and better support from umbrella organisations to help them evidence their impact and develop their capacity for monitoring and evaluation.

Tools for success
Cass Business School (May 2016)
This comprises a series of guides for charities on subjects such as governance, finance, compliance, self-assessment and social investment.

Turning a corner: transition in the voluntary sector 2012-13
Eliza Buckley, Ben Cairns and Richard Jenkins, Institute for Voluntary Action Research, 2013
Based on research with frontline social welfare organisations the authors say to the VCS that to be sustainable in the current operating environment means being clearer than ever about mission and using it as a practical tool; understanding one’s place in the bigger picture; and fostering a self-determining and outward-looking mind-set. They extrapolate messages from this to all those who can assist in this sustainability, including funders. 

UK Civil Society Almanac 2013
NCVO, 2013
The latest edition, covering the size and scope of the UK voluntary sector in 2010-11 

VCS Assist Tool
Rocket Science, 2012
A tool for voluntary and community sector employment and skills organisations to adapt to the changing market for their services.  Supported by ESF Technical Assistance, the Tool takes an organisation through a rigorous assessment of its capacity to provide services in a market increasingly dominated by lead/prime contractors and based on payment by results. Access the tool here.

Voluntary sector independence
Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector, 2011
A report to underpin a five-year study of voluntary sector independence, outlining some of the perceived threats to the sector in order to encourage responses. 

What does the voluntary sector workforce look like?
NCVO, Skills–Third Sector and Third Sector Research Centre, 2011
How the sector’s workforce changed between 2001 and 2010. Key findings include, more than half (57%) of the voluntary sector workforce being employed in “health and social work”, equating to 437,000 people.

What future for London’s third sector providers in Europe 2020?
John Griffiths, Rocket Science, 2011
The changes to European commissioning, and the likely impact of those changes to the ESF programme in London and on the VCS in particular. 

What’s Next on Public Trust and Confidence in Charities?
NCVO, July 2016

Research from the Charity Commission confirms what most of us have known for some time – trust in charities, particularly larger ones, has taken a substantial hit. Media coverage has confirmed existing concerns that charities have lost sight of their values. In essence, some of our fundraising methods make people feel uncomfortable, and the public feel we spend too much on ourselves and not enough on the frontline and there is a general lack of understanding of how charities are run and managed.

NCVO’s underlying analysis is that the public concern is very real, and the media will continue to reflect that until both are convinced charities have changed their ways.  

Working Paper No. 3 on Better Use of the Law by the Voluntary Sector, Baring Foundation (January 2017)

This new report, commissioned by the Foundation, for the first time brings together, in an accessible way, ten recent examples of the use by the voluntary sector of strategic litigation in a wide range of fields relating to discrimination. Strategic litigation is not a panacea and its limitations are recognised. However the Baring Foundation hopes that this report will help managers in organisations which are not specialists in the law ask if this is an approach they should explore further.

Download here

Charity Finance Group and Charity Investors' Group, 2012
A new support guide to help charities in writing their investment policy, which includes a model template covering all the core aspects that should be included in a charity's investment policy and a range of good practice examples. The Charity Commission will direct trustees to this guide from their online guidance, Charities and investment matters.