NAVCA has responded to Lord Hodgson’s official review of the Charities Act 2006. NAVCA is pleased to see recommendations that will make it easier to run a charity, including Lord Hodgson’s call for the Charitable Incorporated Organisation legal form to be implemented immediately and the recommendation that charities should be able to voluntarily register with the Charity Commission. However NAVCA is concerned at some proposals, especially the recommendations to raise the threshold to £25,000, allow payment for trustees of large charities and charging new charities to register.
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of NAVCA, said
“Public trust in charities is a precious commodity which should not be taken for granted. Therefore I am pleased that Lord Hodgson has taken a good look at robust but efficient charity regulation. However, I am concerned that some of these recommendations might not help charities nor increase public confidence.”
“Although we are concerned by the recommendation that the income threshold for compulsory registration of charities is increased to £25,000, we are relieved that Lord Hodgson is recommending that charities below the threshold should be able to voluntarily register. Getting registered is a vital step for charities. It makes it easier to attract funding, strengthens their governance and helps them gain recognition as a genuine charity. We think the Government should pause for thought on this and consult on the actual effect on small and start up charities.”
“On the payment of trustees of large charities, NAVCA has long held the view that paying trustees is in principle not a good idea. The voluntary nature of trustees is part of what makes charities special. This move could blur the distinction between charities and other organisations.”
“Similarly we are worried about moves to charge new charities for registration. If these charges are substantial it will hold back the development of new charities supporting new and emerging needs – the new lifeblood of civil society. Let’s not forget that some of the best known charities, such as Oxfam, Scope or the Terence Higgins Trust, started small. NAVCA believe all charities should be encouraged to register.”