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Government policy and funding round-up: August 2022

This round-up will help you to stay informed about our influencing work, and any government policy and funding announcements. For news related to what’s happening in parliament, see our regular inside track round-up.

Dormant assets

The government has published the consultation on how to spend dormant assets funding in England. The funding will provide an estimated £880 million to spend on good causes across the UK, including £738 million in England. Dormant assets funding comes from financial assets that have remained untouched for a long time, such as bank accounts, and the consultation comes after legislation to expand the range of assets that can be claimed.

We want to see new dormant assets funding focus on communities, and are supporting the creation of a Community Wealth Fund that would give funding, and the power over that funding, to the communities that need it most. We are also supporting the Community Enterprise Growth Plan and continuing funding for the youth sector, one of the existing causes funded by dormant assets.

The consultation is available as an online survey and we would encourage organisations to respond.

Cost of living

We are working with other infrastructure bodies to call on government to support both charities and the communities they are part of, based on feedback from NCVO members. Our asks focus on reducing the VAT that charities pay on energy to 0%, uplifting grants and contracts, encouraging those who can to give. We want to ensure government don’t ignore charities if they develop support packages for businesses. We will be meeting with the Charity Commission, DCMS and Treasury to ensure they understand the challenges facing charities in the current climate. If you would like to talk to us about the impact of rising costs on your charity, please email our team policy@ncvo.org.uk.

We know that many charities across the sector are working to address the cost-of-living crisis, either through campaigning or service delivery. Joseph Rowntree Foundation and other charities have asked the government to increase support for low income households. Charities are also coming together through the Cost of Living Alliance. Citizens Advice have developed a dashboard to share insights about the problems people are facing.

There are several practical things organisations can do to reduce costs, such as submitting regular meter readings or getting a smart meter and implementing a salary exchange programme. Our trusted suppliers Utility Aid and Lucas Fettes can support NCVO members to take these steps.

Annual return

The Charity Commission is running a consultation on its proposed new approach to the annual return, and a new set of questions it plans to include. These changes would come into effect from 1 January 2023.

We’re considering the implications of these changes for charities. Transparency and improved data are important to:

  • build trust in charities
  • drive good regulation
  • understand charities.

But additional reporting takes time for already busy staff and volunteers, so a proportionate approach is vital.

Share your thoughts by responding to the online consultation by 1 September.

Meeting heads of policy, campaigning, or external affairs

This is a challenging time for charities seeking to influence and develop a working relationship with government. We would like to convene a meeting of people in our membership who work in policy, campaigning, or external affairs. The purpose of this meeting would be to discuss how to influence the new government and learn from each other's challenges and approaches. If you are interested in this meeting, please email policy@ncvo.org.uk.

Fundraising levy

The Fundraising Regulator is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The regulator is mostly funded through an annual voluntary Fundraising Levy. So that fees are fair and continue to reflect fundraising expenditure, the regulator recalculates the fee band that each organisation fits into based on its recently published accounts. The regulator will shortly be contacting eligible organisations to inform them about their fee band for 2022/23. More information about the levy and the registration fees is available on their website.

Know your neighbour funding

Up to £14 million will be made available through the Know Your Neighbourhood (KYN) Fund for activities enabling volunteering and tackling loneliness in 6 to 9 high deprivation local authorities. DCMS is inviting non-profit grant making organisations to apply to be the Intermediary Grant Maker for this fund. They also welcome bids from a consortia of charitable organisations. The deadline for applications is 10am on Thursday 29th September 2022. You can read more about this funding here.

To speak to NCVO’s influencing and engagement team about current challenges or experiences, please contact policy@ncvo.org.uk.

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