Funders have failed to invest in charities’ core costs, Lords told 

28 Nov 2016 News

House of Lords chamber

There has been a “sustained failure” from funders to invest in core costs, the Charity Futures project has told the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities. 

In its written evidence the Charity Futures project, which is part of Acevo and being led by former Acevo chief executive, Sir Stephen Bubb, said the sector faces “significant challenges” and that to date there had been a lack of investment in core costs. 

“There has been a sustained failure among philanthropists and funders to properly invest in core costs,” the submission said. 

‘Big thinking’ needed

Charity Futures said that “big thinking" is needed to resolve the issues. 

“Our sector faces a significant challenge and that demands joined-up and big thinking,” it said. “Marginal improvements and small-scale initiatives on their own will not be enough and would need to be set in this bigger context.”

It said there needed to be a debate about “whether the larger charities need to be treated and conceived of differently to promote their passion and professionalism”. 


The submission emphasised that good governance is about more than just processes and legal structure but about culture and having a good relationship between the chair and chief executive. 

“There can be too much focus, even obsession, on the minutiae of a board’s formal structure and processes,” it said. “Governance is not just about this, but about the atmosphere and culture of a charity, the drive of its personnel.”


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