Regulator launches campaign to help charity trustees improve governance

The Charity Commission has launched a campaign aimed at helping trustees refresh their knowledge of charity governance and be ‘certain in uncertain times’

As part of its education programme, the regulator has launched a set of five visually engaging animated videos across social media channels, each promoting one of the Charity Commission’s five-minute guides, which launched in November 2020. The guides provide simple, easy to understand information on all the governance basics trustees need to know.

The campaign comes as part of the Commission’s commitment to helping busy trustees run their charities. In addition to being featured on the Commission’s social media channels, the messages will be targeted at trustees on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to enable the messages to reach more trustees. Sector bodies will be sharing the campaign with their members and supporters.

The regulator’s approach to the campaign is informed by research into trustees’ knowledge and awareness of their responsibilities, and into trustees’ wider attitudes.

Paul Latham, director of communications and policy at the Charity Commission, said: ‘The past year has been incredibly tough for charities. The pandemic has meant they are facing unprecedented challenges and trustees are making very difficult decisions, often at pace. In these uncertain times, we want to help trustees feel more confident they are getting things right.

‘This campaign is aimed at new and experienced trustees alike – all charities stand to gain from trustees who take active responsibility for acquiring and refreshing their knowledge of sound charity management.

‘This campaign also signals an important shift at the Commission, in line with our strategy – we are committed to ensuring our materials are user-friendly, and straightforward for busy trustees to access and engage with. I hope as many trustees as possible see our materials, and take the time to refresh their knowledge.’

The campaign prompts trustees to consider their understanding of their key responsibilities by a posing question connected to each guide:

  • Does every decision help your charity with its mission? (Charity purposes and rules guide)
  • Could your charity be drifting into activities that your charity is not set up to do? (Making decisions at a charity guide)
  • Is your charity reporting the right things at the right time? (What to send to the Charity Commission and how to get help guide)
  • Could you spot a conflict of interest and manage it? (Addressing conflicts of interest in a charity guide)
  • Is there more you can do to prevent fraud? (Managing charity finances guide)
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