Charity Commission to focus on duty to encourage charitable giving

Charity Commission to focus on duty to encourage charitable giving


The Charity Commission must aim to encourage a giving culture, a recent report on the commission’s new general duty on charitable giving, has stated.

The authors of the report, The Commission’s New General Duty on Charitable Giving, looked at activity that supports charitable giving, highlighting the work of Philanthropy UK, the Charities Aid Foundation and New Philanthropy Capital.

The report was initiated to help the Commission meet a new duty to “act in a way that is compatible with encouraging charitable giving”. The duty has come into force as part of the Charities Act 2006.

Current donor concerns are cited as charity ineffectiveness, inefficiency and mismanagement.

The Commission acknowledges that the duty must pervade everything it does, and must assess whether there are further and better ways it can carry out its functions in order to encourage giving.

This includes current and future activities such as enabling charities to use assets more effectively, enhancing charities’ financial information on the website, encouraging the take up of Gift Aid, and talking to donors and philanthropists about sound decision-making practices in preparation for the SORP review.

The Charity Commission will also set up meetings with charities to discuss the potential impact of venture philanthropy on levels of public trust and confidence in the sector. The report said that venture philanthropy carries risks as well as opportunities, as investors may want to influence how their money is spent.

The meetings are likely to form part of a new programme of work by the Commission. In 2011, the Commission is required to report on the Charities Act’s effect on the level of charitable donations to the sector.