Today Lord Hodgson publishes his review of the Charities Act, with 113 recommendations for change, including proposals on allowing trustees pay in larger charities, enabling social investment , changing fundraising regulation and making charity Commission regulation more flexible.
He says he "values diversity over neatness" and backing trustees judgment and he is right!
The review represents a landmark in the modernisation of the charity sector. It builds on the '06 Act. The reforms proposed remain rooted in the sector’s proud history whilst opening the door to real change in the way we operate in the 21st century.
Great background in the glorious history of our country's charities ( modestly I should mention much drawn from my own Lectures on this, so its good !). But I like the approach, which is to strengthen the framework and systems but allowing more flexibility and trusting in the judgment of charities, their CEOs and Boards.
I expect there will be some whinging on trustee pay , but what he says is entirely sensible. For charities over 1 m he proposes that trustee boards have the discretion to pay their trustees.
This has to be right. If a charity believes it needs to pay ( not large sums let's be clear! ) then why should they not do so. I suspect the majority of ACEVO members will not take advantage of this flexibility but for those that have problems in recruting and retaining the best, why forbid them. We are a diverse not a stalinist sector.
In fact you can pay now ( it's not illegal to pay trustees) but the Charity Commission are so bureaucratic about it many give up. And frankly that also wastes CC time and money too.
We will need guidance on this and ACEVO will work with the commission in drawing that up.
I'm also delighted with the forward thinking being his proposals on social investment. Well done to hodgson for grasping this baton and arguing the value of charites looking at this new method of funding our sector.
There is much of value here and we will be fully involved in the consultation and implementation of proposals. Overall, a sensible modernising set of proposals.
The report, and recent crises of governance in the banking and media sector, give us reason to pause and ask how well governed our own organisations are.
So we all need to work together on these proposals. There is a lot in here on fundraising and I've already spoken to Peter Lewis at the Institute of Fundraising on how we progress it. And we will be discussing how to move forward with ncvo, and with Government and the Commission.