CTWM News Update
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Issue No: 9                                                               September 2016

News Update

This is the latest CTWM news update, with information on members' work, latest events, developments and issues. I hope you find it interesting and useful.

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CTWM Members
New Beginnings Fund
Several Trusts and Foundations thought that there was scope for collective action on migration spurned on by the tragic images of Alan Kurdi's lifeless body on a Turkish beach. Several meetings between different trusts has led to the establishment of New Beginnings, a pooled fund managed by the UK Community Foundations Network (UKCF). Although both Barrow Cadbury and Paul Hamlyn are strategic, long-term funders in the area of migration both thought it was important to help set up this responsive fund. Firstly, because they were hearing that small local groups were over-stretched and overwhelmed by offers to volunteer. Often the first port of call for people who want to engage with this issue and welcome migrants and refugees, these groups were inundated with requests but ill-equipped to harness this new energy and interest. Secondly, they were motivated by the chance to build on the momentum generated by external events and to help often fragile community groups become more resilient and reach out to newer constituencies. Given its short-term nature, the fund was not designed to fill gaps in service delivery – of which there are many – but to build capacity in engaging local communities in support of their work at a time of great demand. To that end, they are also in the process of developing workshops to enable some of the groups involved to strengthen their approach to communications and to tap into existing networks and reach new supporters.

In May 2016, New Beginnings awarded £506,000 in one year grants to 45 organisations, 39 of which received up to £10,000 and seven partnership projects that were awarded up to £20,000. Typical examples in the West Midlands include Restore, a Birmingham based befriending group, Brushstrokes Partnership, based in Sandwell provides services and support to the poorest in Smethwick and  Coventry Ethnic Minority Action Partnership provides strategic representation of ethnic minority issues across the city. A list of those supported can be found here.

New Beginnings will launch a second round, of a similar size to the first, later this summer. Approaches from foundations or donors interested in contributing would be very welcome. One of the issues that the funders and partners hope to address this time round is the paucity of applications from refugee or migrant led organisations. The funders are keen to find out how they reach  these often over-looked and low profile groups that have the potential to make a significant contribution towards long-term change.
Reading and Understanding Accounts

Charities confront a hostile financial environment, with many facing increasing difficulty in bridging the gap between rising demand for their services and falling income levels. With charity expenditure perennially under the spotlight, concern over administration costs and chief executive salaries are adding to pressure. Against this background, grasping the difference between different types of revenue, and understanding balance sheets and  financial risk has never been more important for those that run the charity as well as those that assess and fund charities.

Charities have to prepare their accounts in accordance with a guide called the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), which
in turn is based on the Financial Reporting Standard 102. These guidance principles were updated in 2015 and must be adopted in
order to fulfil the trustees’ responsibilities to prepare accounts that show a true and fair view.

The purpose of charity accounts is to provide a stewardship report of the funds entrusted to them. To quote SORP 2015: “The objective of the trustees’ annual report (the report) and accounts is to provide
information about a charity’s financial performance and financial position that will be useful to a wide range of stakeholders in assessing the trustees’ stewardship and management of charitable funds, and to
assist the user of the accounts to make economic decisions in relation to the charity. Charities should strive to provide full and honest accounts of its activities to achieve its purpose. It is up to charities themselves to set out what they consider ‘success’ to be for their own charity, and then report how they measure up against that standard.

Sayer Vincent, who delivered the CTWM seminar in July on reading and understanding accounts provide a useful guide (Reading Charity Accounts made simple) to trustees and non financial staff on the key principles of financial management and different terminology and accounting principles.

New Philanthropy Capital also provide a useful report (Keeping Account: A guide to charity financial analysis) that considers how charities should manage themselves and spend their resources, addressing issues such as:

  • fluctuations in statutory income in a time of government cuts and changes in commissioning processes;
  • difficulties of increasing voluntary donations generally and income from major donors in particular;
  • the rise of new types of income: social investment and other forms of loan;
  • whether levels of spending by charities on administration and fundraising matter;
  • what level of reserves charities should ideally hold—especially in a period of slow growth;
  • governance and the importance of constructive board involvement.
In addition, a supplementary book from NPC ( The Little Blue Book - a guide to analysing charities for charities and funders) is also useful.

West Midlands Combined Authority

Twelve local authorities and three Local Enterprise Partnerships are working together to move powers from Whitehall to the West Midlands under the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The agreement with government will see it make an annual contribution worth £40 million for 30 years to support an overall investment package that will unlock £8 billion, alongside the creation of up to half a million jobs.

Individual councils will carry on just as they do now, running the same services with the same funds. but on the big decisions they will have the resources to work together. The aim of a combined authority is to make decisions currently taken by central government in London or by government agencies - not to take power away from existing councils. In broad terms, it will take responsibility for economic growth, jobs, skills, transport and homes. There is also some responsibility for mental health services and the youth justice system.

On June 10th the WM combined authority was launched and this was followed by a strategic economic plan. Currently 380 staff from the regional transport authority Centro will transfer to the combined authority. After that, there are a number of officials seconded from the member councils, including the chief executives.

What is less clear is the governance function and thereby where respective powers and decision making lies. Within the provision for establishing the WMCA is a scheme for a Mayoral West Midlands Combined Authority (Mayoral WMCA). This provision relates to the election of a Mayor in May 2017 who as part of WMCA will have the necessary powers and decision making capacity to enable appropriate governance of the new and emerging devolution agenda. Currently there is a consultation on the powers and functions of a future mayor for the combined authority.
Call for submissions on charity sector sustainability
The Lords Select Committee on Charities was set up to investigate the sustainability of the charity sector, and the challenges of charity governance.  The Committee is looking to understand the pressures faced across the sector by charities. Recommendations will be made to the UK Government, and to others, which the Committee hopes will help ease these pressures, and to make sure that the charitable sector in England and Wales is sustainable for many years to come. The Committee considers sustainability to be charities having the appropriate resources available to them to meet their charitable purposes. It has now launched its Call for Evidence.  

Written evidence must be received by 5 September 2016.
The Committee's reporting deadline is 31 March 2017.

 CTWM News
For over 40 years we have been helping our members to work more effectively and increase their impact on people and communities. 
By networking, collaboration and improving our funding practices we can better meet the needs of the diverse communities in the region.

To reflect the changes in the funding landscape, CTWM will be changing to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and its name will become WM Funders Network shortly.
Friday 9th September 2016 4.00pm - 6.00pm @ Tyndallwoods Solicitors 29 Woodbourne Road, Edgbaston B17 8BY

The event will showcase sustainability in the West Midlands.
Join us for a bee keeping demonstration. You'll see Tyndallwoods very own hives in action.
Hear and share stories of what our members are doing to support sustainability in all its different forms in the region.
Joing CTWM's Chair and Digital Expert, Pauline Roche for a social media 'first aid' and get handy hints and tips.
RSVP for catering purposes Judy Dyke -
Update on the West Midlands Combined Authority and Election of a Mayor.
Thursday 15th September 2016 12.30pm - 1.45pm @ Anthony Collins Solicitors, 134 Edmund St, B3 3ES

The ongoing devolution process saw the establishment of West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in May 2016, an administrative body designed to bring together and deliver economic prosperity. In bringing together the 3 Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs), the business community and local authorities there is a clear commitment to improving the economy, quality of life and governance across multiple localities through a single overarching co-ordination framework within which other economic and importantly social economic bodies can contribute. Within the provision for establishing the WMCA is a scheme for a Mayoral West Midlands Combined Authority (Mayoral WMCA). This provision relates to the election of a Mayor in May 2017 who as part of WMCA will have the necessary powers and decision making capacity to enable appropriate governance of the new and emerging devolution agenda.

What does this mean for the third sector? How can third sector organisations participate in and influence the agenda and priorities of the new Combined Authority? Sharon Palmer, Chief Executive Regional Action West Midlands will provide an overview of the role and functions of the Combined Authority and some of the challenges and opportunities for the third sector in engaging with the new regional entity.

Sharon Palmer, CE, Regional Action West Midlands and member of West Midlands Civil Society Forum

If you would like to attend please email
Changes to the Fundraising Regulations
Thursday 20th October 2016 11am - 1pm @ venue tbc
There has been a huge amount of change over the last year for fundraisers and charities. The rules that ensure fundraising is carried out to a high standard have been reviewed and updated, there is a new Fundraising Regulator which will have stronger sanctions and more effectively resourced, and there have been legal changes which will impact on charities across the UK.
Many charities have responded to the changes that have come in so far, and getting ready for future changes, by taking steps to make sure that their fundraising is compliant with the law and the standards set in the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Daniel Fluskey, Institute of Fundraisers and Elizabeth Chamberlain, NCVO (tbc) will look at these changes and identify what the implications might be for your organisation - big and small either in fundraising or supporting charities that fundraise from the public and other sources.
Panel Discussion:
Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy and Research, Institute of Fundraisers
Elizabeth Chamberlain, Head of Policy and Public Services, NCVO (tbc)

Chaired by: Pauline Roche, Chair, WM Funders Network

If you could like to attend please contact: dipali@
Homelessness and Housing Briefing - 13th July.  To download a copy of the presentations by Jean Templeton, CE, St Basil's Birmingham and Helen Mathie, Head of Policy, Homeless Link, and read about the issues and discussion click here.
Reading and Understanding charity accounts - 19th July. To get a copy of the presentation by Fleur Holden, Director, Sayer Vincent click here.

About Charitable Trusts West Midlands

Charitable Trusts West Midlands (CTWM) is a membership association for trusts, foundations and other funders that operate in the West Midlands region.  Established in 1975, CTWM’s mission is “to provide a support network for funders in the West Midlands, helping them to work more effectively and increase their impact on people and communities.” 
Copyright © 2015 Charitable Trust West Midlands, All rights reserved.

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