Most charities against a fee to fund the Charity Commission, says Navca

A survey of 610 charities by the local infrastructure body finds that three-quarters are against a fee, and only 9 per cent are in favour

More than three-quarters of charities are against the idea of paying an annual fee to the Charity Commission, research shows.

The local infrastructure body Navca surveyed 610 charities as part of its second voluntary sector annual survey, which asked charities about a range of issues affecting the sector.

When asked whether the commission should introduce an annual charge to cover the cost of its services and compensate for cuts of about £8m from its budget since 2010, 77 per cent said no, but 9 per cent said it should.

Respondents were also asked whether charities should be prevented from campaigning, to which 92 per cent said no; 4 per cent said yes.

But the survey revealed that charities were largely in favour of more restrictions on fundraising, with 59 per cent agreeing with the statement "there should be stricter rules on fundraising", while 27 per cent disagreed.

The survey also asked whether charities suffered when grants were replaced by contracts – 72 per cent said they did.

Neil Cleeveley, chief executive of Navca, said: "The Charity Commission should take note that the introduction of an annual charge is roundly rejected.

"It should work with us to make the case for better public funding of its duty to ensure public confidence in charities." 

He said he had been surprised by the high level of support for stricter rules on charity fundraising.

"I think this reflects just how important public trust is for charities and the damage that has been done by a small number of charities," he said.

"We will certainly reflect this in our contribution to the debate about the Fundraising Preference Service and other measures."

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said: "It is vital that charities of all shapes and sizes have opportunities to engage in the debate about how the regulator is funded. The commission encourages charities to contribute fully to this consultation when it is published in due course."

Navca's survey ran from October to January. Charities were contacted through the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership, which enables charities and the Department of Health, the NHS and Public Health England to work together.

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