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Last updated February 2018

ACO News

News and announcements from the Association of Charitable Organisations, including organised events, meetings and our work on your behalf.


  • ABTA LifeLine - Graphics from the website and logo
    Member Spotlight: ABTA LifeLine

    ABTA LifeLine is ABTA’s charity. ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association representing hundreds of travel agents and tour operators that sell £37 billion of holidays and other travel arrangements each year.

  • PR Project  - ACO PR Project Image
    What's in it for us?

    What’s in it for us? ICE Benevolent Fund explains why they are getting involved with ACO’s One Day Changes Lives Campaign.

  • ACO Annual Conference 2019 - ACO is grateful to EdenTree Investment Management for supporting this event
    Annual Conference 2019 Review

    Thank you to all those that attended our Annual Conference on Friday 10th May, and to all those that helped make the day a success.

  • PR Project Sign Up Banner - PR Project Sign Up Banner
    Join the One Day Changes Lives Campaign

    ACO has launched the ‘One Day Changes Lives’ PR Project, an awareness day for ACO members, and we need you to join us in our campaign to spread the word about your work to the nation!

  • Optical Benevolent Fund - The Benevolent Fund of the College of Optometrists and Association of Optometrists (AOP)
    Member Spotlight: Optical Benevolent Fund

    The Benevolent Fund of the College of Optometrists and Association of Optometrists (AOP) exists to alleviate financial hardship for optometrists and their dependents.

  • Charity Times Awards 2019 - Graphics from the website
    ACO supports Charity Times Awards 2019

    Charity Times invites you to join in celebrating best practice and recognising outstanding professionals in the UK charity and not-for-profit sectors, while raising the sector’s profile, with a special 20th anniversary instalment of the Charity Times Awards.

  • Social media - Close-up of mobile phone home screen with social media icons
    ACO Gets Social

    ACO has been expanding its range of social media channels to allow more ways for members to contact us, connect with each other and for us to share news with members.

  • Slack - Graphics and logo for the Slack collaboration app
    Virtual Networking with ACO

    Want to easily chat with other members outside of events, or have a burning question another member might know the answer to? ACO has set up a Slack workspace for member discussion, trialling its use with the Under-Fives group, and inviting suggestions for expanding its use for other focus groups.

  • Hannah Page - ACO's Communications Officer
    Welcome to Hannah!

    Hannah Page started work as ACO Communications Officer on March 25th. Hannah will lead on website, newsletter, and social media and will manage the ACO PR project.

  • PRS Members’ Fund - Graphics from the organisation's site
    Member spotlight: PRS Members’ Fund

    The PRS Members’ Fund provides financial help and advice to PRS members suffering hardship due to illness, accident, disability or conditions associated with old age. With over 1,100 grants awarded in 2018, totalling £451,000, it is clear how important the Fund is to members and their dependents in need.

  • Press and PR - Microphone with media reporters in background
    One Day of Action PR Campaign

    At the end of last year, we appointed PR agency Definition to develop a national profile-raising campaign for ACO and our Member Organisations to share the work you all do for people across the country.

  • Trustees - A boardroom table with meeting notes
    ACO Trustee Recruitment 2019

    We are now looking to recruit Trustees to support the continuous development of ACO. We have a strategic plan to transform the services we offer our members that is reviewed annually and agreed by trustees.

  • Press and PR - Microphone with media reporters in background
    Definition hit the road

    ACO and Definition, our PR agency, are gearing up for the start of the ACO PR project. We will update members of the PR group on March 11th

  • Changing the guard at Buckingham Palace - Traditional ceremony where soldiers are replaced with those of another unit
    A Year of Succession

    Quite a lot of change will be taking place in the ACO team this year. Catherine Ginger is retiring this month and is replaced by Claire Bijeje as administrator, and a new Communications Officer will be appointed.

  • Helping Individuals in Need - Front cover and contents of the publication
    'Helping Individuals in Need' published

    ACO have now published 'Helping Individuals in Need. A Guide to good practice for charities' by Caroline Aldred and Clementine Cowl, with the support of CCLA. Based on the questions often asked in round table sessions among ACO members, the publication is a toolkit intended for grant-giving charities.

  • Nuclear Industry Benevolent Fund - Graphics and logo from the website
    Standard of Reasonable Income

    The Nuclear Industry Benevolent Fund has been in touch with the following query for ACO members: Do ACO members have a standard of income benchmark and how do you calculate and apply it?

  • The Licensed Trade Charity - Graphics from The Licensed Trade Charity website
    Member Spotlight: The Licensed Trade Charity

    This month we feature the activities and history of the Licensed Trade Charity

  • Press and PR - Microphone with media reporters in background
    PR Project gets green light!

    We have selected a consultancy to work in partnership with ACO and member organisations for a campaign in 2019. The successful agency is Acceleris

  • Grant applications - Desk with folders for grants and otherpaperwork
    Grant management system advice required

    An ACO member is looking for options for changing their online grant management system

  • Financial Investment - Conceptual image of plants being watered by a hand, in a bed of coins
    Helping Individuals in Need

    ACO will be publishing “Helping Individuals in Need” by Clementine Cowl and Caroline Aldred in December. It is a comprehensive guide to running a benevolent fund, based on experience, and contains many insights into the complex issues involved.

  • Membership Overview - Circle of hands touching together
    Membership renewals

    We have sent out membership renewals for 2018/19 and we are very grateful to those members renewing and those members taking advantage of our two year “fix” that guarantees no increase in next year’s fee.

  • Come and Join the ACO - Promotional video featuring members of the ACO at the Annual Conference 2018
    Promoting ACO membership

    Have a look at our fabulous new videos now embedded in the front page of the ACO website. Hear about the benefits of ACO membership to our members. If you know anyone who would be interested in joining the ACO network, this is a great introduction!

  • Press and PR - Microphone with media reporters in background
    ACO PR Project

    We are busy approaching PR agencies with our project brief and already have positive engagement from them about promoting your work.

  • Anaysis and Benchmarking - Man studies printed charts and data
    ACO Benchmarking Group

    This topic will be on the agenda at the next Under Fives meeting on 12th September.

  • Survey - Woman completing survey via computer
    ACO Members Annual Survey 2018

    ACO is very grateful to the 45 members that responded to our request for information this year. We will be analysing the results and building responses into our future planning.

  • Legal Documents - Sheaf of documents in buff folders
    GDPR working group resources

    The ACO-led working group on GDPR was set up to pool the knowledge of ACO members on implementing the legislation within smaller charities, and they have been busy creating GDPR documents and templates to share with members.

  • Consultation on GDPR guidance on contracts and liabilities between controllers and processors - Close-up of a fictional key on a computer keyboard entitled 'Data Security'
    GDPR e-learning from Quilter Cheviot

    Quilter Cheviot has put together a short e-learning module to help you understand what GDPR means, how it will impact you and how to prepare for it.

  • 2018 Newton Charity Investment Survey - Graphics reading 'have your say'
    2018 Newton Charity Investment Survey

    Thanks to the input of respected UK charity sector leaders, the Newton Charity Investment Survey has delivered four years of unique industry views, positioning and investment practices across the sector. The survey covers the diverse aspects of the management of charitable portfolios and aims to provide an industry benchmark to see how aligned your investment experience and intentions are with those of your peers.

  • RAF Benevolent Fund - RAF fundraisers launch 66 mile Cairngorm charity challenge
    Member spotlight: RAF Benevolent Fund

    As the RAF marks its centenary year, its leading welfare charity the RAF Benevolent Fund celebrates 99 years standing side by side with RAF personnel, past and present.

  • Charity Times Awards 2018 - Graphics from the Charity Times website
    Charity Times Awards 2018

    Charity Times Awards are back for their 19th year, celebrating best practice in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector. Here's what you need to know about the 2018 awards.

  • ACO Knowledge Hub - Banner showing graphic representation of a hub network of connected corcles
    ACO Knowledge Hub

    Welcome to Knowledge Hub, a new section of the ACO newsletter. This is a sharing area for us to post member questions and queries along with answers from our members in the ACO network.

  • GDPR Calendar 25 May 2018 - GDPR Calendar image 25 May 2018 1000x400 pixels
    February is GDPR Month at ACO!

    During February ACO is preparing for the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) a new, Europe-wide law that replaces the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) in the UK from 25th May 2018.

  • ACO welcomes new members - Logos for Wimbledon Guild Social Welfare and Police Dependent’s Trust
    ACO welcomes new members

    Please join us in welcoming the Police Dependants' Trust and Wimbledon Guild Social Welfare who have recently joined ACO.

  • ACO Mentoring scheme - Graphic depicting the transfer of knowledge between two people
    Mentor Scheme goes live!

    ACO is launching its new mentoring scheme for Chief Executives on February 1st. Aimed at those new to the job of running an organisation helping individuals in need, we will link up those wanting a mentor with a peer in an already established role at an ACO member organisation.

  • The Timber Trades Benevolent Society - Logo of The Timber Trades Benevolent Society and an image of stacks of sawn wood
    Member Spotlight: The Timber Trades Benevolent Society

    The Timber Trades Benevolent Society (TTBS) has been operating throughout the UK since 1897, originally in London and thereafter in voluntary Regional Committees covering London & Home Counties including East Anglia, Southern, Bristol & Western Counties, South Wales, the Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, the North West, the North East & Cumbria and Scotland.

  • Charity Annual Returns - Image of calculator and spreadsheet
    How charities use the MIS to assess need

    Donald Hirsch reports on research conducted by his team at the Centre for Research in Social Policy, with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the ACO, into how the Minimum Income Standard is being used within benevolent charities both to assist in evaluating need and to shape support policy.

  • ACO Learning - ACO Learning with The Talent Sphere
    ACO Learning with the Talent Sphere

    Starting in the New Year, ACO is launching a training programme to support member organisations. Our first event is a learning programme with the Talent Sphere. We are planning a day of activities to include individual coaching sessions and a 3-hour workshop at the ACO office on 16th January 2018.

  • Robert Caton (1925 - 2017) - Robert Caton in 2015, preparing to take part in London's VE day service
    Robert Caton (1925 - 2017)

    Robert Caton, Chairman of ACO from 1972 until 1991, has died at the age of 92. A true gentleman, war hero and dedicated public servant, Robert was involved in a number of charities and continued his activities long into retirement.

  • ACO Mentoring scheme - Graphic depicting the transfer of knowledge between two people
    Mentoring Scheme Update

    Thanks to all the ACO members who have volunteered to act as mentors. We are now confident that we can launch the scheme in the new year. It is not too late to volunteer! If you are interested please contact the ACO office for further details.

  • The Care Workers Charity - Graphics from The Care Workers Charity's freshly redesigned website
    Member Spotlight: The Care Workers Charity

    This month we feature our member, The Care Workers Charity, launched in 2009 and providing much needed hardship grants to support some of the nation's 1.5 million care staff. The charity has experienced an explosion in awards and income in the last year. Read about their story.

  • ACO Data Protection Helpline - ACO Data Protection Helpline
    ACO Data Protection Helpline

    The provider of the Data Protection helpline is changing on November 1st and we are very pleased to announce a new partnership with ICARIS Sentinel. On this date the new phone number will be 01775 769354

  • ACO website development - A blurry close-up of someone typing code for website development using a laptop
    ACO website development

    As part of the new ACO operational plan we are working on some changes to our website, including a new look and revised navigation system.

  • Smallwood Trust - The Smallwood Trust logo and an image of a smiling mother with her young child
    Member Spotlight: Smallwood Trust

    This month we feature our ACO member Smallwood Trust - a new name and strategy for the Society for the Assistance of Ladies in Reduced Circumstances. Their strategy: “Enabling women to be financially resilient”

  •  Effective Endowment Management seminar series - Graphic publicising the seminar organised by the ACF
    Effective Endowment Management seminar series

    One of the major responsibilities of foundation trustees is to manage the assets of their endowment. The way in which this is done has a very significant impact on the resources that are available to support the foundation’s mission. But how can trustees be confident that they are exercising their responsibilities effectively, especially if they do not have investment experience? The ACF provide an answer in their long-running annual seminar covering this subject.

  • Assessing financial need using the Minimum Income Standard: a review - Closeup of calculator, and pen on top of paper with financial calculations
    Assessing financial need using the MIS: a review

    In recent years, a number of charities have developed more systematic criteria for awarding grants to applicants in financial need using the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). This article outlines developments on this approach by Loughborough University, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the ACO

  • ACO Mentoring Scheme - Close-up of relay race showing one runner handing over a baton to his running mate
    ACO Mentoring Scheme

    The ACO is preparing to launch a new scheme to help new Chief Executives in grant giving charities. The mentoring scheme would be offered to new Chief Executives of ACO members, and would rely on experienced ACO member Chief Executives to volunteer as a mentor. Register your interest and help shape this vital service to members.

  • Charity News Review: Advice to contributors - Screenshot of the latest edition of Charity News Review being edited on a workstation running InDesign
    Advice to contributors

    Charity News Review is the ACO newsletter. There are plenty of ways for members to contribute their work to other members!

  • Analogue-to-Digital - Composite image of a woman's finger touching a tablet device with roughly drawn icons relating to common internet and computer tasks floating around the screen

    As part of our new operational plan ACO has determined it will take a “digital first” approach. This will add a new dimension to our communications to a variety of existing audiences and expand our reach far beyond.

  • Trustees - A boardroom table with meeting notes
    ACO has a new Board of Trustees

    We welcome a new chair, treasurer and new trustees to the ACO board

  • ACO has a new Operational Plan - Man drawing charts, and infographics on a whiteboard
    ACO has a new Operational Plan

    Trustees approved a new operational plan for the ACO at its April board meeting. This plan builds on the previous Recruit & Retain plan and gives ACO a clearly defined vision and a set of stretching but realistic strategic objectives that are underpinned by two core principles (a digital first approach across all area and the investment of appropriate funds) that will guide all that we do until 2020.

  • Chief Executive Speech to the ACO AGM April 2017 - Closeup of microphone with audience blurred in the background
    CEO Speech to the ACO AGM April 2017

    CEO Dominic Fox's speech to an audience of ACO members at its annual conference in April 2017, outlining the reasons ACO was formed, its reason for continued existence and plans for the future

  • Trustees - A boardroom table with meeting notes
    ACO is recruiting Trustees

    We are looking to increase our current team of Trustees to support the continuous development of ACO. We are currently developing a new strategic plan to transform the services we offer our members.

  • ACO Banner - ACO Icon on dark coloured background
    Latest News November 2015

    ACO's submission to Work and Pensions Committee Local Welfare Safety Net Inquiry, with suggested recommendations on minimum standards

  • ACO Autumn Summit 2015 - ACO Autumn Summit 2015
    ACO Autumn Summit 2015

    Five years of austerity and the pace of economic and social change have challenged Trusts and Foundations to examine their ways of working. This conference, with its range of speakers, aimed to help delegates to engage in reflective and independent thinking.

  • Benchmarking Report 2014 - Scene showing graphs and charts printed out and on screen
    Benchmarking report published

    ACO in Partnership with Turn2us have published a revealing report about charitable practice . The report will enable charities to review their performance against similar funds in the sector and be an invaluable tool for impact measurement and future planning.

  • ACO Members Legal Helpline - Banner graphic with information about the legal helpline on 01775 769354
    Legal advice line launched

    An exclusive offer to ACO members provided by Russell-Cooke LLP

  • ACO Launch Benepedia - An unusual shaped bookshelf filled with books
    ACO launch 'Benepedia'

    We have launched a new resource exclusively for ACO members, aimed at pooling information on policy, good practice and legislation affecting the charity sector

  • Charity Campaigning - Volunteer with collection tin
    News Archive 2014

    An archive of news for the UK charity sector during 2014

  • ACO appoints Alison Taylor as trustee - Alison Taylor, director of Turn2Us
    News Archive 2013

    An archive of news for the UK charity sector during 2013

  • ACO and ACF Merger - 3D illustration showing two groups building a jigsaw causeway
    News Archive 2012

    An archive of news for the UK charity sector during 2012

  • ACO Banner - ACO Icon on light coloured background
    News Archive 2011

    An archive of news for the UK charity sector during 2011