Along with supplies of pasta that are slowly making their way back onto supermarket shelves, there’s still plenty of food for thought for charities.

This week we continue to take a look at the key issues affecting charities and some more of the great funding available to them. We also take a step back and consider ways in which charities can get creative to help their communities. There’s even time to look at the inspiring story of one veteran who has captured the imagination of an entirely new army of loyal supporters!

The latest on furlough and pensions

Furlough continues to be a key issue this week. The Employment team at Anthony Collins Solicitors have had a busy Easter period unwrapping Government’s latest furlough guidance – and plenty of chocolate!

You can read their latest briefings - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Treasury Direction and Update guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retentions Scheme - on our website. These include important information arising from the latest Treasury directive for employers utilising the scheme, as well as a breakdown of some of the latest Government guidance on it. The team have also prepared some practical pensions advice for employers.

Business Secretary suspends wrongful trading rules

Trustees of incorporated charities should be familiar with their duties where their charity is facing financial turmoil. Trustees who allow their charity to continue trading when it is insolvent or facing unavoidable insolvency may be committing ‘wrongful trading’ and could be held personally liable for losses.

However, to relieve some of the pressure on trustees in these uncertain times, the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, has announced the temporary suspension of the ‘wrongful trading’ rules. The suspension, once it comes into force, would apply retrospectively, from 1 March 2020, for three months.

Whilst caution should still be taken as all duties continue to apply to trustees of incorporated charities through this time, the announcement provides some welcome relief. We will be providing further guidance once the new legislation is introduced.

More funding to support charities

Like last week, we have highlighted some more of the funding available to support charities financially through this time. Here are a few of the highlights from this week:

  • Charities Aid Foundation plans to grow its £39 million Emergency Coronavirus Fund to support smaller charitable organisations.
  • Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ is offering grants of £500 to support the organisational needs of any organisations that support vulnerable groups. It has been overwhelmed with applications and has paused new applications in some areas. Check to see if you are eligible.
  • Sport England is offering between £300 and £10,000 in grants to some community organisations who cannot access alternative financial support. Sport Wales has announced an initial emergency fund of £400,000 to help not-for-profit sports clubs across Wales.
  • Big Society Capital and Social Investment Business have announced £100 million in emergency loans and investments for charities and social businesses.

Your charity needs YOU!

With economic uncertainty changing the face of charitable giving for charities, many people are finding new ways to give back.

99-year-old veteran, Captain Tom Moore, completed his target of walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday. Captain Moore captured the nation’s hearts and has raised over £15 million for charity...and counting!

Though social distancing measures mean that many traditional fundraising methods are not possible, social media and technology provide charities with an opportunity to fundraise in new, creative ways. For example, did you know that, for a small processing fee, Charities Aid Foundation can host an online donation portal for charities?

Social distancing brings church communities together

Social distancing is not going to stand in the way of some churches giving back. YourNeighbour.org has set up a helpline to connect people with local church organisations, whether it be for a friendly chat or to help with shopping, prescriptions, advice or pastoral support. If you are a church charity, apply to get involved.

For more information

If you would like more details about anything in this newsletter please speak to or email your usual ACS contact, or contact Safa Murad.

Safa is a Solicitor in the Charities and Social Business team. She advises organisations on a broad range of governance and legal issues including incorporation, mergers and disputes. Safa has been involved in local and national community organisations from a young age and is now a trustee of the University of Leicester Students’ Union where she was also a student some years ago!