Charity Commission updates, including N Ireland

The Charity Commission (England and Wales) has published polling research on trust and confidence in the regulator’s work. Link to ‘Trust and confidence in the Charity Commission 2015‘ documents. Also see their press release.

The Commission’s claim that this shows the public and charities “overwhelmingly support new powers for the Charity Commission” helped to spark something of a negative sector reaction. In particular, the view that there is general support for charities to pay for their own regulation, rather than it being government funded, wasn’t well received. See The Guardian’s piece ‘UK public wants charities to pay for their own regulation‘.

Sector think-tank NPC points out that this “part of being an accountable regulator should involve the Commission finding out what the public and stakeholders think about its work on a regular basis, and sharing these findings”. The article title ‘Can we regulate for trust in charities?‘ gives a further angle.

Commission Annual Report and Strategic plan

The Charity Commission yesterday (30th June) issued both its annual report for 2014/15 and its strategic plan for 2015/18. Official news release.

The plan has four strategic aims:

  • protecting charities from abuse or mismanagement.
  • enabling trustees to run their charities effectively.
  • encouraging greater transparency and accountability in charities.
  • operating as an efficient, expert regulator with sustainable funding.

Civil Society News reports that the plan includes an aim to reduce its dependence on taxpayer funding. The Commission will do this by actively pursuing “alternative funding sources”, including consulting on proposals for an annual charge for registered charities.

Civil Society News also takes a look at the annual report, leading with the number of investigations and serious incidents reports. They also highlight that almost half of new charities registered were charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs). And while applications to register as a charity rose by 8 per cent, the number and the percentage of successful ones fell.

NI Charity Commission strategic plan – input wanted

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is also looking at its strategic plan, this time for 2016 to 2019. It has opened a “comment phase” to seek views and suggestions from interested parties on the possible content.

Input is wanted by 7th September. CCNI news item, or go direct to their current consultations page for ‘Setting the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland’s strategic agenda’.