Too many large charities are too focused on growth, says Shawcross

30 Jan 2018 News

William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission

Too many large charities are measuring their success in terms of growth, the outgoing chair of the Charity Commission has said.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph yesterday William Shawcross said: “There are marvellous examples of charities of all sizes, with clear missions, which achieve measurable, meaningful results.”

“But I worry that too many large charities are too focused on chasing the next public service contract, or a bigger fundraising return, or a celebrity patron. Measuring their success simply in terms of growth. That is not good enough.”

Shawcross, who will stand down from his role in February and be replaced by Baroness Stowell, repeated a call he made last week at the Charity Commission’s annual meeting for charities to “live their values” and obey high ethical standards across their work.

“Charities, small and large, should be lean and agile, focusing on the people they were set up to help – as well as respecting their donors,” he wrote. “They should question their very existence as often as practically possible: are we making a big enough difference, are others doing what we do more effectively?

“The need for effective leadership of charities – passionate and visionary – has never been more critical. And charities need easier access to more meaningful support.

“I hope we will see a new generation of leaders of the charitable sector – women and men with ideas, energy and fight, who make the world a better place. And can prove it.”

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