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Thursday, August 11, 2016


The Charity Commission (CC) should demand more feedback from trustee boards at the largest charities to check how they are performing, and should rethink its guidance on paying trustees, according to a new paper on rebuilding trust in charities.  

It will also put an end to this sort of 'quasi sales pitch' seeking charitable contributions, taken word for word from a local Cambridgeshire website: 

 "In exchange for helping fund our operation, there are several titles available which a business or entrepeneur (SIC) (or perhaps entrepreneur?)  use in their own publicity and advertising. Here are just some of them, pitched at prices to suit every pocket, with all the benefits you can expect for making charitable contributions."

THE NPC points out there are nearly one million charity trustees in the UK, and charity boards have faced unprecedented scrutiny since the high-profile collapse of Kids Company. But fior newly registered charities there is a time lapse before major enquiries are initiated by the CC

NPC’s new paper on charity governance, It starts from the top, argues that regulatory reform is needed to help trustee boards which are ‘coasting’ rather than focusing on having the greatest social impact.

The paper calls on the Charity Commission and charities themselves try and ensure these changes, and recommends reforms including:
  • Annual reporting by large charities to the Charity Commission (via the Statement of Recommended Practice) should focus on a charity’s impact as well as its financial standing. At the very least this should include updates on what a charity has achieved in a given year, how this compares with the year before, and what is included in future plans.
  • The same annual reporting should include details on training and evaluation undertaken by the board to develop its own work and remain effective.

  • Existing Charity Commission guidance, which actively discourages boards from considering paying trustees, should instead invite charities to make the case to the Commission for paying trustees when that is appropriate for better governance. This will be especially important to attracting more diverse board membership.
  • The Office for Civil Society and Innovation should consider giving the Charity Commission power to sanction charities that repeatedly breach these extended requirements.
It starts from the top suggests consulting on these changes to ensure any extra administrative burden is proportionate to the size and mission of the charity.

It also recommends a greater role certifying the quality of boards for organisations like the Institute of Directors, which bring an expertise and gravitas to which both trustees and the public will respond.

Iona Joy, Head of the Charities Team at NPC and the co-author of It starts from the top, said:

The buck stops with trustees. At the thousands of organisations all over the UK doing amazing work, trustee boards deserve enormous credit. Equally they face tough questions if things go wrong, or if they allow their organisations to coast along complacently.

The Charity Commission has a key role in getting the most out of trustees. It’s important to get the right balance between the carrot and the stick, but ministers should certainly look at extra powers for the regulator if charities repeatedly fail to provide the sort of information asked of them.

Beneficiaries and donors rightly expect charities to do an effective job. Getting the governance right is at the heart of making sure this happens’.

The NPC lists some of the projects it has recently been involved in:
  • Our work with the Ministry of Justice on helping charities to understand the impact of their work with offenders, resulted in the Justice Data Lab, which enables organisations that work with offenders to access re-offending data.
  • Our research on numeracy, Count me in, inspired the launch of an important new charity, National Numeracy in 2012.
  • We receive consistently high ratings from our clients. In Autumn 2012, feedback from 16 recent clients who responded to a client survey showed that 100% believe NPC‘s output and deliverables to be good or excellent, and 100% believe our communication and client services to be good or excellent. 93% consider NPC’s process and approach to be good or excellent and would recommend us to another organisation looking to commission a similar project. Read more about NPC’s clients and partners. E&OE Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581

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THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).


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