11 Mar 2019

What to expect from the Charity Commission over the next five years

Charity Commission thumb

 

Speaking at the Charity Commission's annual public meeting in Manchester on 5 March, the Commission's Chief Executive and Chair conveyed a message to the sector about what to expect from its regulator over the next five years.

 

The Commission's Chief Executive, Helen Stephenson made it clear that the regulator's capacity is still on a "knife edge", after experiencing the "double whammy" of funding cuts and increasing demand for its services. The Commission currently receives on average 260 emails or phone calls from customers per day.

However, plans to address this through a consultation on whether the Commission should charge charities for regulation are on hold because the government is preoccupied with Brexit. Last year the government gave the Commission an additional £5m per year, until a consultation on charging charities could come about, which has enabled the regulator to recruit additional staff.

Despite the challenges, Stephenson outlined the key points from the Commission's statement of strategic intent last year and said: "Work is currently underway translating all of these objectives into clear and measurable delivery plans. It's not a heroic strategy, but it's an ambitious one." She added that the Commission is "implementing it in a challenging time for us".

She said the Commission is focused on delivering on the refreshed aims set out in last year's statement.  "We want to set out our stall to the charity sector about the way in which we are going to develop in the next five years," Stephenson said.

So, what can charities expect from the Commission?

Both Stephenson and the Commission's chair, Baroness Stowell, said that the Commission will be "louder", and charities can expect to hear the regulator speaking up more.

Baroness Stowell told charities to expect to see a more confident Commission. A Commission that is unafraid to use its voice and authority to encourage behaviour and conditions that help charity thrive.

The Commission also plans to improve access to data and improve content so that it's engaging and useful for trustees.

You can read Baroness Stowell's speech here Chair's speech to the Charity Commission Annual Public Meeting