Policy, Policy, campaigns & research

April Policy Update

Here's a roundup of news from around the charity sector.

Here’s your monthly update of key policy issues from around the sector that you should be aware of.  

Fresh DSC research on Armed Forces charities out now 

This month, DSC launched new research that looks closely at the impact of Covid-19 on the Armed Forces Sector. Funded by Forces in Mind Trust, the third edition of Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities explores the challenges and impact of the pandemic and provides analysis of how the sector continues to provide support to its many beneficiaries. 

Amongst many other findings, this new report has found that Armed Forces charities proved to be resilient despite increased challenges for the charity sector. Whilst there are 10% fewer charities than in 2017, a significant portion of this trend is due to association branches merging with their overarching associations. 

This research has been used by policy-makers and charities alike to improve policy and understanding of this important part of the charity sector. You can read some of the key insights from DSC’s Researcher, Rhiannon Doherty, here. 

Or read the full report for free here.

Last chance to participate in the VCSE Barometer Survey before 1 May 

The VCSE Data and Insights National Observatory at Nottingham Trent University continues to provide crucial data to influence policy-makers. The sixth wave of the VCSE Barometer Survey includes questions on volunteer recruitment and retention — revisiting the critical insights first explored in Spring 2023

Its a unique opportunity to add your voice to a collective effort aimed at fostering a resilient and thriving VCSE sector. Don’t miss the chance to provide your invaluable insights to help inform our sector and decisions and strategies that affect it.  Fill in the survey before Wednesday 1 May. 

Make your voice heard on your charity’s issues with banking by 15 May 

Charities of all shapes and sizes face numerous problems with banking. Members of the Civil Society Group (CSG) including NCVO, CFG, and ACRE are working towards improving bank account services for charities and they want to know some of the challenges you’ve been facing. Help them get a clearer picture of what’s going on, so they can advocate on your behalf to the respective charity regulators, government, and the banking sector, by telling them your experience of banks – the more responses the greater the weight of evidence. Fill in the survey here. 

Fundraising Regulator ploughs on with 50% levy increase during cost-of-living crisis 

Following a consultation earlier in the year, the Fundraising Regulator announced that they will be increasing their annual levy by 50% over two years. . This new increase will impact charities that spend over £100,000 on their annual fundraising activity. 

Charities that spend over £50 million on fundraising will be asked to pay a new annual fee of £22,500 from September 2025, a 50% increase from the current rate. Charities that spend £850,000 – £7.5 million will face a 30% increase and those that spend £100,000 – £850,000 will pay 20% more. 

The Regulator has said that after September 2025, the increase will match the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to ensure future rises are “more gradual” and charities are given “advance notice” before increases come into effect. The Fundraising Regulator has also increased the cost of registration for smaller charities from £50 to £60. 

There’s already big pressure on donors and charities that rely on public fundraising during the cost-of-living crisis. Even with a staggered implementation schedule and a tiered system for increases, fundraising charities are likely to have questions about whether such steep increases in levy charges are justified and whether the regulator is providing value for money.  

Find out more here. 

Association of Charitable Foundations launches new guidance on origins of wealth 

ACF, the membership body for UK foundations, has launched new guidance and a toolkit to help foundations explore the origins of their wealth, and particularly wealth connected to enslavement or derived from the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This is a critical topic for foundations to understand andtake action on, especially in the context of current racial justice movements and Foundations’ own commitments to equality and social justice.Read more here.