In the news last week...

Weekly roundup of sector news from the DSC research team.

New Charity Commission Strategy

Last week, the Charity Commission for England and Wales released its new five-year strategy. The strategy reflects the Charity Commission chair’s beliefs that charities should behave more like how the public think they should behave. In a speech to promote the Regulator’s new strategy, Tina Stowell said charities should ‘operate less like businesses’, and that a culture change is needed in the sector to uphold its traditional values.

Recently across charity news channels, there has been increasingly more chat surrounding public trust and the charity sector. DSC warns the impact of a constant drip-drab message about a crisis of public trust: “This constant, drip-drip message about a crisis of public trust for all charities, no matter what areas they work in, how well run or how effective they are, isn’t accurate or helpful. In fact, it’s in danger of turning into a feedback loop, where the Charity Commission’s public statements reinforce the idea of systemic ‘crisis’ in the media and wider public consciousness’’. Despite this, the strategy contains some important objectives such as improving data collection and making it more accessible to the public.

Caron Bradshaw, CFG’s Chief Exec and DSC’s chair, believes the Charity Commission has been giving public trust and confidence in the sector too much focus – ‘We are a less trusting society but, despite that, people still trust charities very highly, with charities and NGOs still being among the most trusted institutions, ahead of business, the government and the media.’ – read more responses to the new strategy here.