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Consultancy support for East Midlands VCS

The East Midland's committee of the Institute of Consultancy is encouraging its members to support the Big Society and increase their involvement with the VCS. The Institute has approximately 400 members in the East Midlands, alongside over 5,000 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) colleagues, including management professionals and experts in a variety of business and management disciplines.

New strategy on fraud, financial crime and financial abuse

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities, is calling for charities to better protect themselves against fraud and financial crime, in response to the National Fraud Authority"s (NFA) latest report. The NFA"s Annual Fraud Indicator shows charities estimate losing 1.7% of their annual income to fraud, equal to £1.1billion of the sector"s income for 2010/11. The most common types of fraud were cited as payment fraud, fraud by employees or volunteers and cyber fraud.

New guide to impact reporting

The Principles of Good Impact Reporting, a guide to good impact reporting has been published by the Charity Finance Group, Acevo, New Philanthropy Capital, following consultation with charities and social enterprises. Alongside its accompanying guide, Principles into Practice, the publications describe the tools charities need to measure and report their impact.

Voluntary sector version of Wikipedia launched

NCVO has launched its iKnowHow service, described as a voluntary sector version of Wikipedia, which will allow users to edit, add to or debate content on NCVO's KnowHow NonProfit website. The site, which provides information on running charities for founders, trustees, volunteers and staff of charities and other non-profit organisations, will be piloted by allowing people to change the three areas of the site about collaboration, public service delivery and setting up a charity.

Charity consortia support toolkit launched

Acevo, the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, in partnership with Neil Coulson Associates, have launched the Consortia Support initiative, a toolkit to assist VCS organisations with forming consortia. The toolkit is a seven-stage guide taking organisations from the initial stage of forming consortia through to consolidation and expansion.

Free legal advice for not-for-profit organisations

Operated by LawWorks, a national charity committed to increasing the delivery of free legal advice to individuals and communities in need, Initial Electronic Advice (IEA) aims to assist not-for-profit organisations by providing free answers from qualified solicitors to their legal questions. Once registered and approved, organisations can submit brief questions, which can be answered without the need for solicitors to have background knowledge or documents, online.

Utlity Aid offers service utility consultancy to charities

Established in 2002, Utility Aid helps charities and not-for-profit organisations make better use of their budgets through impartial advice on how to save money and make better energy purchasing decisions. Once contacted, Utility Aid will carry out a free non obligation energy audit of the organisation, which includes:

New online social investment tool

NCVO and CAF Venturesome have launched Social Investment Made Simple, a free online resource on social investment and the different financial models available to charities. The tool defines the different forms of social investment and aims to help VCS organisations understand what could work for them. It showcases examples of charities of varying sizes that have used social investment to successfully grow their organisation and signposts users to further sources of support.

Jargonbuster website launched

The Charities Evaluation Service (CES) and the Jargonbusters group has launched a new website dedicated to providing clear and simple definitions of the key terms used to describe what organisations do and the difference their work makes.

Skills Third Sector developing new interactive tool for sector

Funded by the government following consultation with the VCS, Skills Third Sector is developing LINKS, a new interactive tool that allows sector organisations to search online for formal and informal training opportunities. The tool will aim to:

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