Catch up on this month's activity on the Scottish Mentoring Network website. Click the headlines to read more...
OSCR have released a new consultation on the 'Meeting the Charity Test' guidance, as a result of the recent decision by the court of session on the New Lanark Hotels Limited and New Lanark Trading Ltd. The Court directed that both of these companies should be registered as charities on the basis of the facts in the case, and emphasised the unusual nature of the activities undertaken on the New Lanark World Heritage site. OSCR’s intention in bringing the appeals was to clarify the position with respect to our guidance on public benefit in charities. The Court’s findings made it clear that charitable status for these companies was in accordance with OSCR’s public benefit guidance.
That’s why they have proposed changes to the ‘What is public benefit?’ section in their Meeting the Charity Test guidance. They have reflected the detail of the court’s findings on how public benefit should be considered when a charity is undertaking activities, including commercial trading, that do not further its charitable purposes.
In addition, they have taken this opportunity to clarify some of the language in the private benefit section.
They are running a 6 week consultation on the changes to ensure that they are clear and easily understood. They would like to hear your views on these proposed changes.
You can respond to the consultation by filling in our short survey. Here is the link. The closing date for responses will be 5 May 2021. If you have any questions on the survey, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. 9 April
We were delighted to read this piece featured in Holyrood Magazine from our partners at Inspiring Scotland. 7 April
In advance of the Scottish Parliament elections on the 6th of May, OSCR have provided updated guidance on charities campaigning activities. We are currently in the Regulated Period where the Electoral Commission will be regulating any spending on political campaigns and activities. The Electoral Commission rules on campaigning have been modified since OSCR last released guidance, for example, all election material now requires an ‘imprint’ where previously it was only physical election material.
Under Scottish charity law, your charity can campaign if:
it is advancing your charitable purposes
your governing document does not prevent the activity
you are not advancing a political party and,
you can show you are acting in the charity’s best interests.
When considering whether you are acting in a charity’s best interests, this should include the reputational implications of your actions.
While there are restrictions on what campaigning activities a charity can undertake, it is important to note that political campaigning in principle is not forbidden. In fact, political campaigning on particular issues can be an important way for charities to achieve their charitable purposes.
Read the full article from OSCR's website below: 7 April
Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, SMN member projects have fed back to the team at SMN that choosing a secure video conferencing tool has been a challenge. As our projects continue to run mentoring sessions online, and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future, we wish to help them do this as smoothly as possible.
The Attend Anywhere service will enable us to host 'waiting areas' for our members that they can use for their mentoring meetings. The benefit of using this service will be that mentors will not have to share any personal details to meet with their mentee.
We would like our members to help test how this will work within your projects. If this is something that would be helpful to your project, and would like to be involved with testing, please email us and let us know!
21 April 2021, Zoom
20 May 2021, Zoom
22 June 2021, Zoom
25 August 2021, Zoom
21 September 2021, Zoom
28 October 2021
7 December 2021, Zoom
26 January 2022, Zoom
24 February 2022, Zoom
22 March 2022, Zoom