Two-thirds of charity staff against trustee payment, survey finds

Survey on the volunteering networking site indicates opposition to Lord Hodgson's proposal to allow large charities to pay trustees without Charity Commission approval

Lord Hodgson
Lord Hodgson

More than two-thirds of charity and voluntary sector staff disagree with Lord Hodgson’s recommendation that large charities should be allowed to pay their trustees without Charity Commission approval, according to an online poll.

Hodgson’s review of the Charities Act 2006 last month recommended that charities with an annual income of more than £1m should be able to pay their trustees without seeking permission from the Charity Commission, as is currently required.

But a poll conducted by the volunteering social networking site among 1,100 visitors to its site found that 67 per cent of respondents were against the proposal. The remaining 33 per cent were in favour.

Hodgson’s recommendation has divided opinion in the voluntary sector. Last month, the chief executives from seven voluntary sector bodies, including Navca, the Directory of Social Change, the Institute of Fundraising and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, wrote to Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, to voice their opposition. The proposal has won the support of Acevo, the national body for charity chief executives.

Sir Stephen Bubb, the chief executive of Acevo, said that the results reflected the diverse nature of the sector. He said: "For some smaller charities payment would not be appropriate, but some charities take the view that they would like to pay, why should they be stopped from doing so?

"Our position has always been for the charity itself to decide, it is not a matter of one size fits all."

Jay Kennedy, head of policy at the DSC, said the results of the poll were in keeping with feedback that his organisation had received. "I do not think there’s support for it within the sector," he said. "We believe in the voluntary ethos. Even if you have an organisation with paid staff, people should be there for altruistic reasons."

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