Half of charities that receive government grants or contracts believe the reporting requirements attached to the funding are out of proportion to the value of the funds, according to new research by think tank New Philanthropy Capital.
The survey, which was completed by 80 charities last year, showed half had never been offered funding or training to help them fulfil their reporting requirements. Two-thirds said the task of tailoring information on the results of their work for each local authority that funded them was taking up valuable time.
Martin Brookes, chief executive of NPC, said: "Some of the reporting demands on charities are excessive and absurd. Government has been talking about this problem for a long time, but not done enough about it. This needs to change."
The NPC's manifesto, due to be launched today, calls for 20 per cent of the budget of Capacitybuilders, which would be about £6m, to be diverted to a new 'impact fund' that would help charities measure and report on their effectiveness.
It says the next government should make public the evidence it collects from charities about the effectiveness of their work, in the same way it publishes public service performance data. It calls for new standardised frameworks for reporting results, which would be developed in partnership with charities.
A quarter of charities rely on government grants and contracts for more than three-quarters of their funding, it says.
The manifesto calls on the incoming administration to support the provision of good-quality advice for philanthropists and attempt to build sustainable partnerships with them.
"The election offers a great opportunity to review the way government works with charities and philanthropists," said Brookes.