Letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the priorities of the Charity Commission

The appointment of a new chair of the Charity Commission this year presents an opportunity to rethink the Commission’s priorities. At a time when the charity sector has proved itself to be a vital partner in the fight against Covid-19, the Commission should prioritise maximising the impact of the sector.

This is our letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, outlining how we believe the Charity Commission can play a transformative role in guiding the sector towards maximum social impact for the people it serves.

The Charity Commission’s trustee obligations should be re-written to focus on mission and the impact achieved for the beneficiaries the charity serves. Grant-making trusts should be more transparent, publishing both their payout ratio and their reasoning behind it each year. The Charity Commission’s data needs to be much better used and made available in a far timelier manner than at present, and we call for the Charity Commission to drop the requirement that charities must seek permission before paying their trustees. We would urge the next chair of the Commission to be someone who will pursue this agenda.