Gareth Jones: A fond farewell as Charity Finance editor

28 Oct 2019 Voices

It has been a great privilege to edit Charity Finance over the past four years. But after 40 editions, I am handing over the reins in order to step up and oversee Civil Society Media’s wider editorial portfolio of three print magazines, website and email bulletin.

Tristan Blythe has already taken over as editor of this publication. He is well qualified to take on the role, having spent the last 13 years at PAM Insight, a specialist publisher for the wealth management industry. During this time he held the roles of editorial director, group editor, editor of Private Client Practitioner magazine, and senior news reporter for www.thewealthnet.com.

He has however allowed me the chance to give some final thoughts as I depart.

The past four years have seen plenty of challenging material for us to get our teeth into. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation was a big talking point for a sustained period of time. Revisions to the SORP and the debate about whether annual reports should be more public-benefit focused has generated plenty of comment on both sides of the discussion.

More troublingly, we’ve seen an intensification of media criticism of charities. Frequently this has been unfounded and unfair, though occasionally there is a grain of truth to the criticism.

Throughout this time, I’ve tried to ensure that Charity Finance doesn’t hold back from expressing criticism of charities where it appears merited. After all, it is only through honest reflection that we can seek to improve anything that we do.

However, sifting between fact and fiction on these matters is not always an easy task, particularly in the case of the Oxfam safeguarding scandal, where evident failures must be balanced against the difficulties of managing such a complex organisation.

On a lighter note, it has been great to immerse myself in the charity finance community, going to events and meeting the various characters in the sector.

Finance professionals may have a certain reputation in the wider world, but I have never found those I have met to be anything other than friendly, warm, and dare I say, interesting.

What has been evident throughout is the passion that you hold for your charities, and the expertise that you are bringing to take them forward.

Without you, the sector would certainly be less rich, both in monetary terms and in terms of the value it offers to society.

Gareth Jones is group editor at Civil Society Media

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