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What do charity leaders think about social investment – A survey by ACEVO, the charity leaders body, and social investment promoters Big Society Capital, has found that just over forty per cent of charity CEOs think that repayable finance would be beneficial to their organisation.

Responses to Austerity – How groups across the UK are adapting, challenging and imagining alternatives produced by New Economics Foundation (NEF) reviews the impact and ingenuity austerity policies have put communities and organisations across the UK under intense pressure. While the negative social consequences are well documented, less attention has been paid to the range of creative responses to austerity measures from local authorities, housing associations, grant-makers and funders, charitable and voluntary sector, campaigners and activists.

Tips on Collaborations for Charities – a blog article by Charity lawyer Ian Hempseed of Hempsons, offers tips on how charities can effectively execute collaborations. "Collaboration can be undertaken for many reasons, and sometimes in haste. If you don't do your early planning properly, you can leave unresolved issues which can fester and later debilitate what you set out to achieve. Tight deadlines may also lead partners to side-line the more complex issues which they then find difficult to address once the focus of effort has moved on to the delivery phase".

Happy Relations? Ensuring effective partnerships between trustees and senior management published NPC provides guidance for trustees and senior management to ensure that an effective relationship is built and maintained, touching on roles and responsibilities, boundaries and expectations, communication and power, and providing two case studies that draw on these themes.

Better Finance, Better SocietyBig Society Capital's manifesto calls on the government to create a new regulator for social enterprise and social investment, to work in parallel with the Charity Commission. It says the government should consolidate in one body "the existing fragmented regulation" of organisations such as cooperatives, community benefit societies, Community Interest Companies and social impact bonds.

Social media – Making your voice heard –  a briefing from the International Broadcasting Trust explores the social media landscape denoting that it is becoming increasingly important as a way of engaging the UK public with global issues. But it is also an increasingly challenging space in which to operate. The briefing explores the changing social media landscape, looks at what works and what doesn't, and makes a number of recommendations for how NGOs can be more effective.

To merge, or not to merge, an article written by Andrew Talbot, experienced Legal Adviser with CollaborationNI, expands on the complexities of merging. "They are not always the only or the best solution to an organisation's perceived challenges. Nevertheless, if there are good strategic reasons for merger, they can be the right course of action".

Internal Fraud, an article written by the Chief Executive of Cifas, concludes that staff and volunteers may be your greatest weakness when it comes to insider fraud – but they are also your greatest strength. "The charity sector is diverse and complex – there's no silver bullet for fraud prevention. The good news is that it is possible to balance the need for proper controls with a healthy culture. What's more, some of the key steps can be enacted at little cost".

A Social Value and Commissioning Toolkit has been produced for the Children's Partnership to help navigate this complex environment. In plain-English the toolkit provides a succinct overview of the current commissioning landscape by highlighting key pieces of Government legislation and important reforms to EU procurement law which will come into force. Some of the challenges most commonly encountered by charities when bidding for contracts are also explored along with some practical advice on how to potentially overcome them.

Care2Petition is the largest petition site in the world making it easier for everyone to impact the causes they care about most. Through using this petition site Broken Rainbow, which provides support services to LGBT victims of domestic violence and abuse, were able to save their helpline service for 12 months within 6 hours of delivering signatures to the Home Office.

Local Trust, which manages the Big Local programme, has published findings from its initial evaluation of the 150 communities across England taking part in the programme, which is aiming to make a lasting positive difference in those communities by inspiring genuine grassroots involvement and decision making.

The audit threshold for charities is being doubled to £1m. The government has decided to bring forward the 'live' date to 31 March 2015, so charities whose accounting years end on or after that date can benefit immediately.

Bite-size Guide to Grants aims to support clinical commissioners to better understand grants and can be used in your work with CCGs. It outlines the benefits and principles of providing grant funding for the voluntary sector and suggests practical steps for commissioners about using grants to support priorities.



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