A to Z of funding (D)


Data Protection Act

Under the 1998 Data Protection Act, which came into force on 1 March 2000, all organisations (whether registered with the Information Commissioner or not) have a duty to deal with personal information (information about living, identifiable individuals) fairly and lawfully. This means, as a minimum, informing 'data subjects' of the fact that you hold information about them, telling them what that information is, and how you use it or intend to use it.

Information Commissioner's Office (Head Office)
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
T: 01625 545 745
F: 01625 524 510
E: casework@ico.org.uk
W: www.ico.gov.uk

> Go to top of A-Z


On a balance sheet, debtors are the people that owe you money. The people you owe money to are called creditors.

> Go to top of A-Z


Decentralisation, in the current political context, is defined as a radical shift of power from the centralised state to local communities. The current Coalition government are aiming to achieve decentralisation by “devolving power, money and knowledge to those best placed to find the best solutions to local needs: elected local representatives, frontline public service professionals, social enterprises, charities, co-ops, community groups, neighbourhoods and individuals.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government have released a report that explains the key outcomes of decentralisation and the Localism Bill, which will provide the legislative foundation for change. 

> Go to top of A-Z


If you spend more than you receive over a given period the difference is a deficit. It is the opposite of a surplus. Deficits are often shown in brackets or with a minus sign e.g. (£350) or -£350.

> Go to top of A-Z


Things fall apart and lose value, even capital assets. A few months after you've bought it, a computer is worth considerably less than what you paid for it. If you produce accounts that put a value on your capital assets, you need a way of calculating what that ever-decreasing value is. Depreciation is an accountant's way of doing this. It only vaguely corresponds to what you might get for the stuff if you really tried to sell it.

There are two ways of doing depreciation. In one something loses value until it is worth nothing; in the other something loses a percentage of its value every year, worth less and less but never reaching zero.

If you depreciate something until it is worth nothing, you first decide over how many years you are going to depreciate it. If you think the life of a new photocopier that cost you £1,000 is 5 years, you depreciate it over 5 years. So after a year you have an asset worth £800, after two years you have something worth £600, after three years £400, and after four years £200 and after five years your photocopier is, on paper, worth nothing. You might do the same thing but set a 'scrap value' instead of 'nothing' to end up with. This method of depreciation is called straight-line depreciation.

Organisations often choose to put an equivalent sum (£200 in this example) into a special fund every year, so that at the end of the period they have in theory saved up enough to buy a new photocopier.

If you used the percentage method of depreciation, which is called reducing-balance depreciation, you might say that your photocopier was going to lose 20% of its value each year. After the first year its value would be £800. After the next year it loses 20% of £800 (£160), so its value would be £640. After the third year it loses 20% of £640 (£128), so its value would be £512. After the fourth year it loses 20% of £512 (£102.40), so its value would be £409.60. And after the fifth year it loses 20% of £409.60 (£81.92) so its value would be £327.68. You go on like this indefinitely because although it loses value each year, it is always worth something.

> Go to top of A-Z

Directory of Social Change (DSC)

DSC is the largest training provider and publisher of information for the UK voluntary sector, covering topics such as fundraising and communication, organisational development, management, finance & law, and skills development. DSC is an infrastructure organisation, which means that it works with other voluntary organisations rather than directly with individuals in need. Most customers are charities that use DSC information and training to improve the services they provide, through better work practices and more successful fundraising.

DSC has developed and manages this website.

DSC London Office
24 Stephenson Way

DSC Research & Policy Office
Suites 103-106
1 Old Hall Street
L3 9HG

T: 020 7391 4800
Customer Services: 08450 77 77 07
Email: cs@dsc.org.uk
Website www.dsc.org.uk

> Go to top of A-Z


Literally spreading the seed. So it means telling other people about something, for example: writing it up, distributing the video, holding a conference, or going to talk to other groups.

> Go to top of A-Z