CBI and Charity Commission produce charities' guide to surviving recession

Governing boards encouraged to ask themselves 15 'key questions'

The Charity Commission has teamed up with the Confederation of British Industry to urge charity boards to ask themselves 15 key questions about how well placed they are to cope during the recession.

The questions, which cover strategy, governance, financial health and making best use of resources, were compiled following a series of focus groups with charities last month.

They are contained in the document Big Board Talk: The Conversation All Charities Need to Have, launched today.

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the commission, said charities' survival depended on their having the courage to address fundamental issues. "Asking these key questions will help boards review their options, make the hard decisions and gain a clear understanding of the challenges they face and the best ways to tackle them," he said.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman added that the commission had asked the CBI to endorse the questions to emphasise their urgency.

Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, said: "Businesses up and down the country are having to make tough decisions about the measures they need to take to ensure they survive the recession and emerge from it stronger. That means stripping out the nice-to-haves and focusing on core activities. Charities are no different in this sense."

The document will be sent in this week's commission newsletter to every registered charity and will also be available on its website.

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