NPC think tank calls for 'era of openness' in manifesto

The charity says there is a need for more transparency around charities' performance

The think tank NPC has called for "a new era of openness from the government, funders and charities" to enable the voluntary sector to deliver maximum returns for the people they serve. 

The charity’s manifesto for the imminent general election calls for an "unrelenting focus on improving impact" that would require more transparency about how charities are performing, where funding goes and the use of government-held data that might be useful for charities.

The manifesto makes 10 recommendations, including for the Charity Commission to be given the ability to remove the charitable status of organisations that are "repeatedly unable to demonstrate any impact related to their core mission". 

It calls for charities to be required to report publicly on their mission and impact and for an urgent review of public service procurement processes so charities no longer have to use donors’ money to "subsidise poorly costed government contracts". 

Other requests include that the government "boosts its relationship with civil society, systematically involving the sector to increase the impact of both charities and public services". 

It also says grant-making foundations should be required to publish their grant-giving data in an accessible, open form. 

Dan Corry, chief executive of NPC, said: ‘Charities around the country are working hard for their causes and, whoever forms it, the next government is going to need to work with them to meet the many unmet needs of our citizens and to heal the divisions that Brexit has exposed.

"But if charities and government are to work in the best interests of the nation, they need to be transparent with each other about what more they can each do to increase their impact." 

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