Regulator reveals new five-year governance regime - Thorne Widgery

The charities regulator for England and Wales has this month published its new Statement of Strategic Intent, setting out its governance plans for the next five years.

The Charity Commission said the purpose of the report is to ensure charities can “thrive and inspire trust”.

In a summary post online, the regulator lists five new strategic objectives that will shape the way it governs the third sector in the five years to 2023. These are:

  • holding charities to account
  • dealing with wrongdoing and harm
  • informing public choice
  • giving charities the understanding and tools they need to succeed
  • keeping charity relevant for today’s world

Notably, the Commission says the Statement of Strategic Intent will not replace its statutory objectives, rather add to them to ensure that charities can show that they are “being true to their purposes” and are able to “demonstrate the difference they’re making”.

Commenting on the report, Baroness Stowell, Chair of the Charity Commission, said the new strategy marks a new beginning for the regulation of charities in England and Wales.

“From now on, the Commission is a purpose-driven regulator. We are clear not just on what we do, but about why we do it,” she said.

“Our purpose is deliberately positive: charity is a vital force for good in our society, and we as regulator share a responsibility with charities to help maximise the positive impact charity has, to help charity reach its potential.”

The strategy follows recent research which found that charities weren’t always “living up the public’s expectation”. According to the study, the public expects a charity to have charitable aims and to be a “living, breathing expression of charitable behaviour and attitude”.

Baroness Stowell added: “By working on this together, charities and the Commission will help ensure that charities thrive, so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.”