The government should create a charities ‘tsar’ to review policy making on the sector across Whitehall departments, a new report by the campaigning group Legacy10 suggests.
Legacy10 – founded by Roland Rudd, chair of the public relations firm RLM Finsbury, and launched last year – campaigns to encourage people to leave money to charity in their wills. It ties in with the introduction of a 10 per cent reduction in the rate of inheritance tax for people who leave at least 10 per cent of their wealth to charity and is supported by famous people, including the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, the artist Tracey Emin and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
The report says the tsar should be an independent, experienced and non-partisan person appointed by the Cabinet Office. It calls for a review to be published in summer 2013 looking at the duplications in the charity sector and suggesting new structures where appropriate.
An example of such duplications is Legacy10 and Remember A Charity, which, the report states, appear to pull in different directions while campaigning to increase legacy giving.
The report also calls for a shake-up of the honours system to ensure that those recognised in the field of business demonstrate their contribution to charity.
"Too many highly privileged people are honoured without providing any service to charity or philanthropy," the report says. It also calls for more honours, such as damehoods, knighthoods and CBEs, to be given for philanthropy.
The report calls for all three main political parties to commit to leaving the inheritance tax reduction for legacy giving in place until the end of the 2020 parliament and beyond.
It says the government and charities should create a free training programme for legacy fundraisers.
It also says that every registered charity in the UK should be required by the Charity Commission to provide evidence in its annual report of a legacy-giving strategy and the current income level from legacy, the report states.
Roland Rudd, founder and chairman of the charity, said: "We call on government to send a clear signal that legacies can provide long-term, sustainable sources of income for charities and the arts.
"One way to do this is to end the award of honours solely for services to business, and instead reward charitable and philanthropic behaviour. Our report also outlines many ways to improve skills in the sector, as our evidence shows that the British are great at giving money but less good at asking for it."
Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, is expected to respond to the report by the end of January.