Directory of Social Change plans 'safe charity register'

Resource for donors, lenders and grant makers

The Directory of Social Change plans to introduce a register for charities deemed safe for investment, which could be browsed by potential lenders or grant makers.

The proposed Supportability Register would provide basic information about charities for bodies considering making loans or grants and individuals looking to donate.

The register would form part of the GuideStar UK website, which was acquired by the DSC from GuideStar International in March.

The DSC believes charities score badly on credit ratings used by banks or government departments because their income sources and risk profiles are different from those of commercial organisations.

Graham Leigh, director of development at the DSC, said: "Charities are often overlooked for support purely because their information isn't transparent or complete enough.

"It should be possible for charities to report their work in a meaningful, compelling and comparable way without losing the uniqueness of which they are so rightfully proud."

Charities would be able to opt in to the register, which would require them to demonstrate they have a bank account, comply with the Statement of Recommended Practice and publish an "accurate and meaningful"

annual report. Charities might also be required to report on specific appeals they have run and demonstrate they offer meaningful work to volunteers.

Leigh said it was not yet clear whether the DSC, which would carry out the assessments, would charge for the service.


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