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13 Sep, 14 tweets, 4 min read
The Secretary of State for @DCMS is responsible for charities. Here’s our response to his article in the @Telegraph about the work of charities, their funding, and the role of the Charity Commission and chair. [THREAD]
We agree with @OliverDowden that charities and volunteers do brilliant work every day. Charities have long worked tirelessly to strengthen society, with the pandemic shining a spotlight of their vital contribution to individuals, families, and communities.
Last year, with our infrastructure partners, we campaigned for the £750m emergency support that @DCMS established to support charities. As we did then, we thank the govt for this vital support.
Less than 1/3 of all charity income comes from govt (both central and local), while just under half comes directly from the public. A generous public contributing more than ever to the charities and causes they care about.
Charities can help government deliver their policy aims through being close to communities. Where charities are more reliant, they are often delivering commissioned services, playing a crucial role by complementing and partnering with the state.
We want a strong regulator that supports charities, enables them to work effectively, and upholds the interests of the public. Like the charities it oversees, the Commission must be above party politics. Its strength is as a neutral arbiter, showing no fear or favour.
Charities cannot afford for their regulator to be anything but & the public deserves nothing less. The next @ChtyCommission chair should be a politically independent appointee.
The role of the Commission is to regulate in line with the laws made in Parliament. Within that framework, it is not for the Govt or Commission to tell trustees what is best for their charity or those they serve.
Trustees are taking difficult decisions in the best interests of their charity against a background of contested and highly politicised debates. For many charities this is about inclusion and speaking out about issues of injustice.
But the public trust charities to do this. The @ChtyCommission’s recent research showed trust in charities has risen through the pandemic to the highest in 6 years.…
Where charities generate concern and upset, they will need to explain themselves to the public. Only if those concerns relate to charity law and governance will they have to explain themselves to the Commission.
Charities must be mindful of a range of views and remain true to their mission. Charities don't expect to be immune from criticism, but retaining independence is crucial and should be recognised by the government and the next Chair of the Charity Commission.
You can read the article here…
What we think the culture secretary got wrong about about charities…

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More from @NCVO

8 Apr 20
This is an important first step, but it won't be enough to prevent good charities around the country from closing their doors. 1/
Even many that survive will look very different very soon, with severely reduced capacity to provide the support people rely on. As charity shops shut and fundraisers stop, we estimate charities stand to lose around £4bn in 12 weeks due to the crisis. (…) 2/
At a time of crisis, charities want and need to be able to give their all to supporting people who need it most. They cannot do that if they have to suspend their work or close altogether. 3/
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