Call for new body to scrutinise charity performance has mixed response
A call for a new independent body to scrutinise charities’ performance and effectiveness has received a mixed response from the sector and been dismissed by Government.
In his speech to an audience at the RSA, Martin Brookes, New Philanthropy Capital’s director of research, made a call for a new body to run parallel with the Charity Commission, and to produce performance data and rank charities by the value for money they deliver from donations.
He said it should be a non-departmental public body, perhaps under the auspices of the Cabinet Office, and which should report to a newly created House of Commons third sector select committee or the Public Accounts Committee.
As there was "little doubt" that the performance of charities varied greatly, Brookes said that an external scrutiny body, distinct from the Charity Commission, could make information about those variations available to donors, and this would give charities more incentive to improve.
However, the office of Phil Hope, the Minister for the Third Sector, said that efficiency and effectiveness is already being sufficiently studied by the Charity Commission.
Voices from across the sector have expressed support with caution through to complete rejection, with the biggest warnings being that charities are already stringently regulated, and that emotional gains cannot be measured.
Private donations to charity are worth almost £9bn a year, and Government provides £1.3bn in annual subsidies on tax-efficient giving.