The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Related BBC article: Charity fundraising tactics 'a scandal', says senior MP.
So where does that leave the charity sector which relies on public goodwill to deliver its objectives? And in particular, where does this leave people thinking of supporting charities by leaving donations under their Wills?
According to a recent survey (Proportion of people who include legacies in their wills is increasing), more people than ever before are including gifts to charities in their Wills – but with significant numbers of people still dying without leaving a Will, the charity sector can ill afford to put off prospective donors.
Many fundraising practises have been subject to criticism from the CPAC but it appears that the biggest issue is properly managing theoutsourcing of fundraising to external agencies. These relationships are often driven by targets to achieve a certain value of donations or secure a number of new donors within certain timeframes, which can lead to a disconnect between a charity’s fundamental aims and values and donors’ actual experience of the charity through their fundraisers.
A key message for charities is to review their approach to fundraising to ensure that the fundamental message of their charity is not lost or tarnished through the actions of fundraisers, especially where fundraising activities are outsourced. As with all external messaging, good or bad, the reflection is on the charity – it is not enough to say ‘we didn’t have control’ or ‘we don’t endorse the practises undertaken in our name’. In the current environment, it is important to ensure that the respective obligations of charities and the fundraising agencies they work with are set out clearly in contracts and there are clear and appropriately resourced arrangements for monitoring whether the expected behaviour is delivered.
It is important to recognise that many charities have been leading good practice in this area for years. Similarly most fundraising agencies still in business do good work. As Richard Taylor of the Institute of Fundraising said:
“Some of the problems are to do with third party agencies, we accept that, but we have to be careful because a lot of these agencies do great work for charities and they do it to a very high standard,”
This is not an area where there are simple answers, but delivering the highest standards of ethical fundraising will be a priority for those charities who want to protect their reputation and, in turn, their prospects of legacy income.
As for legacy giving under a Will, the key requirement of charities is to make sure donors appreciate the need to have a valid Will – and one which can stand up to any scrutiny it may be placed under through the donor having appropriate independent legal advice from a suitably qualified and regulated professional.
With Remember a Charity Week making the headlines, here’s to charities supporting growth in knowledge of the benefits of making a Will and the positive choices and options a Will provides rather than concerning fundraising tactics.
For more information
Charities can contact Shivaji Shiva.
Indiviuals thinking of supporting charities by leaving donations under their Wills can contact Donna Holmes.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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