What charities want from the next government
It is clear that all political parties have many priorities for the imminent general election in their efforts to persuade the electorate that they are the best choice to run the country. The charity sector must ensure that it is not forgotten; the role that it can play in making everyone’s lives better is often underplayed and the cost effective delivery of that support compares very favourably to most commercial and public organisations. So what should the wish list include?
- Measures to make it easier and more rewarding to volunteer, perhaps including time off for volunteering, especially where it can provide additional skills to transfer back to the workplace
- Use dormant assets in bank accounts to strengthen community foundations to build a long term, sustainable local delivery of support to charities
- Reward companies behaving in a socially responsible way through the tax system
- Review the impact of the tax system on charities and provide simplification and where possible reliefs from increased tax including business rates, apprenticeship levies and the issue of irrecoverable VAT
- Use the departure from the EU to simplify procurement procedures to make it easier for charities to bid for delivering services to the public sector
The list could go on and I am sure every organisation has its views on how best the next government can help the charity sector. It is clear that there will continue to be constraints on grant funding and many organisations that received EU funding will need to demonstrate why their income should be replaced from UK sources.
It is also important that charities maximise their own income by making full use of gift aid on donations as this should now be easier to claim, having a clear fund raising strategy and a means of demonstrating real value delivered to the wider community to justify why people and companies should donate.
To aid the process, charities should produce their accounts in a timely manner and use the Trustees Report to show what they planned to do, what they did and what they will do in the future. This provides donors with the comfort that their donations are being put to best use.
If you would like any help with budgeting, claiming gift aid or advice on producing your Trustees Report and Accounts, please contact Steve Robinson at Mercer & Hole on 01908 605552.
Date: 31st May, 2017
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