Live Aid anniversary throws the spotlight on charities once again

31st July 2015

Live Aid, the largest single fundraising event ever staged took place 30 years ago this summer. But three decades of cuts in public spending have put charities under more and more pressure to fill the gaps in key service provision.

Last week the government outlined plans to curb what they see as 'boiler room tactics' as charities strive to raise greater funds from the general public.

With the pressure on charities increasing, a specialist in this area of law looks at how organisations can ensure they maximise their fundraising efforts whilst remaining compliant.

"Charities are quite rightly under greater scrutiny than ever before as their activities impact on more and more people," comments Kirsty McEwen, a solicitor specialising in charities and not for profit organisations at Midlands based law firm Higgs & Sons.

"The recent recession and so called austerity measures had a huge impact on public services which meant charities had to step in and fill the gaps. This has placed huge pressures on organisations and their fund raising operations.

"The vast majority of organisations operate within appropriate parameters both legally and in terms of acceptable practice. But with ever growing scrutiny on their activities, charities may want to bear in mind certain key points* to ensure they maximise their effectiveness and remain compliant.

"There has been much debate on the need to assess the effectiveness of self-regulation and the future of the fundraising sector looks set to change. Proposed new measures could include; the requirement for fundraising agencies to state how they will protect the vulnerable, and details of all fundraising activities to be included in annual reports.

"Although no-one can be sure of exactly what is going to happen, we do know that the spotlight on charities is not going to go away," concludes Kirsty.

Kirsty McEwen is a specialist charities lawyer who has spent many years advising the charities and not for profit / voluntary sector on all aspects of their operations. She has  acted for many well-known and established charities and leads the Higgs & Sons team of Charity Commission Interim Managers.


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