Posts By: David Ainsworth

New legislation could discourage extremely large one-off gifts to charity

So the chancellor has said that he’ll cap the amount you can claim back in tax each year at a quarter of your gross income, or £50,000, whichever is higher.

How will this affect charities?

The first thing to say is that it only applies in a limited number of cases, but those will be the ones involving the biggest donations. Read more on New legislation could discourage extremely large one-off gifts to charity…

The first steps needed to raise your charity’s profile

Last week, along with my colleague Gemma Quainton, I went along to a “speedmatching” event for charities that wanted volunteer support for their media strategy.

It was soon obvious that it was surprisingly hard to find a good match between my skills and the needs of small charities. Read more on The first steps needed to raise your charity’s profile…

The rise of the amergermation

The past year has seen a lot of stories about charity mergers. A lot more are coming across our desks at Third Sector, and it’s obvious that the financial climate is driving people to think very hard about their independence.

Nonetheless, when you read these stories, it’s clear from the common themes that at least one of several things usually needs to happen for a merger to take place. Read more on The rise of the amergermation…

Is giving rational or irrational? Sometimes yes, sometimes no

Last week, my colleague Sophie Hudson wrote a blog about whether giving is rational. I’d like to add my own opinion, which is: sometimes yes, sometimes no.

I can see why economists struggle with this question, because economics is about looking after number one. It defines rational, more or less, as “behaving in a way most likely to allow you to maximise resources”. Read more on Is giving rational or irrational? Sometimes yes, sometimes no…

Do they even know what a social enterprise is?

Yesterday Michael Lloyd, a retired railwayman from Stroud set off to the High Court to challenge a decision by NHS Gloucestershire to outsource community care to a social enterprise.

The basic gist of his argument, and that of Stroud Against the Cuts, the organisation which backed him, seemed to be that the NHS is the only organisation that ought to provide any health services to anyone. Read more on Do they even know what a social enterprise is?…

Who is doing all this discriminating?

Last week, this site featured research by Rowena Lewis into the “reinforced glass ceiling” in the voluntary sector, which suggests women are still under-represented at chief executive level – only 46 per cent, out of a workforce of 68 per cent women.

Lewis proposes two main reasons why women are under-represented: the motherhood penalty, and various forms of discrimination. Read more on Who is doing all this discriminating?…

‘Compulsory volunteering’ for those on benefits

Two weeks ago, government sources announced, in stories in the Sun and the Daily Mail, the expansion of a scheme that forces unemployed people to do compulsory community work or lose their benefits, if the staff at the Jobcentre decide that they’re not pulling their weight.

The stories quote an unnamed government source, who says that next month, the employment minister Chris Grayling will announce that the scheme will be expanded to 50,000 people, and will cost around £5m. Read more on ‘Compulsory volunteering’ for those on benefits…

Scope’s bond issue is just the start

This week, disability charity Scope announced a £20m bond issue, which is the first significant bond issue by an operational charity.

It’s unlikely to be the last. Geoff Burnand, co-founder of Investing for Good, a social investment organisation which worked with Scope to develop the bond, has already said he expects to see several other bond issues in short order, some of which may well be larger.

Read more on Scope’s bond issue is just the start…

It’s impossible for schools to have more than tokenistic regard for the poor

It’s a well-known fact that cats always land on their feet, and toast always lands butter-side down. With the obvious result that if you tie a slice of toast to the back of a cat, you create an anti-gravity machine.

Read more on It’s impossible for schools to have more than tokenistic regard for the poor…

It’s clear to me that bursaries don’t help people in poverty very much

Friday’s charity tribunal decision on fee-charging schools and public benefit was claimed as a victory by both sides, although it strikes me as a loss for trustees for such schools.

One thing which struck me as a victory for everyone was a decided shift away from the idea that schools had to give bursaries to create a public benefit.

Read more on It’s clear to me that bursaries don’t help people in poverty very much…