Charity commission: Regulating in the public interest:

On 15 June the charity commission published their research exploring the relationship between the public’s view of Charity and charities and the role of regulation; and trustees’ views of public expectations and of the Commission.

It is published in the belief that a better understanding of the public will lead to a more informed discussion about how best to regulate their interest in future. We recommend all charities read the report, both registered and unregistered charities and consider how it might relevant to their own charity’s future delivery and planning.  

As the regulator of the charitable sector, part of the Charity Commission’s job is to help make Charity more resilient; to ensure that it can thrive and inspire trust in tough times as well as good, and to do so in a world where the demands for greater scrutiny and accountability sit side-by-side with calls for charities to do more and be more. Building resilience means upholding the special status of Charity and recognising that the regulator and the regulated both have a responsibility to justify the privileges enjoyed in its name.

For the Charity Commission increasing resilience also means bringing the public interest to the fore. People’s circumstances and outlook on life often vary greatly and these variations have a large influence over their views about Charity and charities.
There are common themes which transcend those differences in background:

  • The fact that the way charities go about their work is as important as the work that they do
  • That all charities share a collective responsibility to uphold the reputation of Charity more widely
  • Registered charity status brings with it in the public mind a level of reassurance about conduct, efficiency and impact.

The charity commission feel charities can be a unifying force in a sometimes divided world, and therefore the report might help those most responsible for the reputation of the sector to understand where people divide and unite on charity.

Details of the report can be found here.