Commission to consult again on non-charities guidance after criticism

10 Aug 2018 News

The Charity Commission has said charities raised a number of concerns about draft guidance for charities that are connected to non-charitable organisations. 

The regulator will now consult further with some stakeholders and plans to publish final guidance later this year. 

The draft version of the guidance was published in February and the consultation period ended in May and was met with criticism from umbrella bodies

The Association of Charitable Foundations said corporate foundations had not been properly considered and the Charity Retail Association called for an exemption for charity shops. NCVO said it thought the guidance was too long and could discourage campaigning activity.

Yesterday the Commission published a summary of consultation responses and a blog from its head of policy development guidance and review, Nick Mott. 

Mott said: “This guidance isn’t intended to frustrate charities. We know that many work successfully - and with care - alongside other organisations. But the connection with a non-charity can expose charities to additional and sometimes significant risks - so it is vital that trustees are equipped to manage these relationships with a critical eye.” 

He said the consultation had been “constructive” and thrown up concerns about length and duplication and the cost of implementing the guidance.  

“So we have listened, we are making some changes, and we plan to check in again with some stakeholders as we develop a version for publication later this year,” Mott said.

The ACF and NCVO said they were pleased that the Commission was taking the time to reconsider. 

Keiran Goddard, director of external affairs at ACF, said: “We are pleased that the Commission has listened to the concerns of the sector and has committed to further revision and consultation. It is particularly important that the final guidance be enabling, recognises the many positives of such working arrangements and does not place disproportionate burden on specific organisations such as corporate foundations. We look forward to ongoing dialogue on this important issue.”

Douglas Dowell, senior policy officer at NCVO, said: "From our point of view we are waiting to see what changes they make, but we are please that the Charity Commission has taken on board the fact that people did have concerns and have decided to have another think."

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