Charging regime mooted for £100k-plus charities; sharing pay details; charities should 'focus fundraising on minority communities'

The stories readers have been discussing on the Third Sector website

Kath Abrahams of Breakthrough Breast Cancer has concerns about pay data
Kath Abrahams of Breakthrough Breast Cancer has concerns about pay data

William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission, has said that a possible charging regime might seek payment from charities with annual incomes of more than £100,000. Speaking at a public meeting held by the commission in Manchester on 3 July, Shawcross said it was a shame that government cuts to the commission's funding, which have totalled nearly 50 per cent in real terms between 2007/08 and 2015/16, meant that it had to change how it operated in various ways.

On, Martin Edwards commented: "Great, so a hospice charity, for example, would have to pay the Charity Commission for their regulation/registration, on top of the money it already pays to the Care Quality Commission for regulation/registration, and all so that they can offer free care to people who are terribly ill."

Eowyn Rohan: "If a charity can reward its senior managers with a generous salary/expense allowance, yet rely on volunteers and/or the unemployed who are told to report in under the threat of losing any state benefits, then it is capable of paying a modest fee to the regulator."

Debra Allcock Tyler: "What Mr Shawcross is suggesting is that the taxpayer should in effect pay twice for the existence of the commission – once through taxes and then supplemented through donations that would be used to pay this fee."

Charities 'won't want to share pay information'

Charities will be unwilling to share details about senior executive pay and fundraising costs for fear that their peers will not follow suit, according to Kath Abrahams, director of fundraising at Breakthrough Breast Cancer and a board member of the Institute of Fundraising. Abrahams was speaking from the audience at a session of the IoF national convention in London.

Kate Sayer commented: "Interesting views, but they are not borne out by the facts. A number of big fundraising charities are already planning to disclose full information about senior management team salaries. What about seeing this as an opportunity to communicate to the public that charities do have to pay to get good staff?"

Mark Jackson: "Recently I received an email asking what my salary was; I replied with a hyperlink to our accounts, referring to the relevant page and paragraph number. The inquirer was satisfied and said they would be happy to continue supporting the hospice, rather than large national charities that overpaid their senior staff."

'Focus fundraising on minority communities'

Charity fundraisers should put in place strategies to target people from ethnic minorities, religious groups and the gay community, according to Tony Elischer, managing director of Think Consulting Solutions. Speaking at the IoF national convention, Elischer said few UK charities had thought about the concept of multiculturalism in their fundraising, unlike in the US, where every major fundraising team had a "diaspora team" or "heritage team".

Kiran commented: "Research in 2002 showed only 2 per cent of funding from the top 20 trusts and foundations went to BME communities. It's a bit rich to suggest that money should be raised from BME communities when they hardly see the benefits of it."

Michael Naidu: "Wow – for the guru who used to bang on about 'treating your donors in a segment of one' to now say 'how many of us understand gay people in the UK?' Possibly the worst generalisation of the decade."

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