Civil society minister Nick Hurd said the government would reduce bureaucracy for charities receiving public money, but would ask them to provide more evidence of the outcomes they achieve.
Speaking at the fringe event, Great expectations: What lies ahead for charities?, at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham yesterday, Hurd said impact measurement was a key priority for the government.
"It's important that charities can prove they provide the taxpayer with value for money," he said. "Measuring social return on investment can be difficult for some charities, but I think it's something we need to look at seriously."
But he said the government wanted to reduce the bureaucracy involved in applying for government funding. "[Communities secretary] Eric Pickles' bureaucracy-busting agenda will apply to the voluntary sector," he said. "It should be easier for charities to apply for public money and report on how they spend it."
Hurd said charities should not think of the big society as a government programme. "It's a call to action," he said. "The government is a catalyst for the big society, but people need to do it themselves rather than look to the government to tell them what to do."