What is Ultra Vires
Ultra Vires is a part of charity law which stipulates that charities can’t directly give money to other charities that do not meet their mission statement. For example it would be like donating to Oxfam, then Oxfam giving it to the RSPB.
How does this affect student fundraising within UPSU?
UPSU mission statement is to transform student lives through experience. We support student experience and development, one of the ways we do this is to support students volunteering and putting on events and challenges. A by-product of this activity is money raised for charity, which is brilliant but not as brilliant as the skills and experience our students get from running these events. The charity commission recognises that charitable work is a big part of the student experience so allows fundraising to exist under the umbrella term of RAG (Raise & Give). All fundraising activity must be student-led not charity-led.
Does this mean my club/society is not allowed to fundraise then unless we are part of RAG?
Hell no! We encourage all our student groups to think about giving back to the community and doing charitable work (for example the icons scheme). Any member of UPSU can be a student fundraiser and gain support from the Volunteer Department. Clubs and societies are required to report any fundraising to the fundraising coordinator based within the volunteer department (Katie Quick) so at the end of the year we can report back to the charity commission under the umbrella term of RAG.
What is RAG and how do I get involved?
RAG stands for raising and giving, and is the designated charity fundraising wing of the Student’s Union. It is a student-led group of dedicated fundraisers, which anyone is allowed to join. The RAG committee primarily organise events within the University community for the nominated charities (such as Take Me Out, Pizza Eating Competition, The Winter Ball, Fire walk, etc). Over the Easter period, Charities are asked to submit applications to be one of the Chosen Charities. Plymouth University students can nominate any charity they want to. After shortlisting by the RAG committee, a campus-wide vote is held to determine the final three charities who will be supported the following academic year. The nominated charities this year are Brain Tumour Research, Coppafeel and Dementia UK.
In addition to this RAG has core charities which it supports through its adventure programme. This year RAG’s Core Charities are East African Playgrounds, Meningitis Research Foundation, The Children’s Society, Action Against Hunger, Make a Wish Foundation and Breast Cancer Now. RAG will, on occasion, encourage the campus to get behind national campaigns (such as Movember, Children In Need, Red Nose Day) or gather support for disaster relief appeals.
You can find out more about RAG and student-led fundraising through upsu.com
Katie Quick – Fundraising Coordinator
Kieren Perry – RAG President