Almost a quarter of charities do not have whistleblowing policies in place, and only a third of charities actively promote such policies to employees, research by Third Sector Insight has found.
A report called How Charities’ Workplace Culture Can Prevent Controversies, based on research carried out with the consultancy firm Alder, says that 22 per cent of charities were found not to have whistleblowing policies and 35 per cent had whistleblowing policies that were not widely known across the organisation.
It says that 10 per cent of respondents to the survey did not know whether their charities had whistleblowing policies or not, and only a third said their charities actively promoted their whistleblowing policies to employees.
The report, based on a survey of 382 charity trustees and executives, says 24 per cent of respondents said trustees would not know if there was a poor workplace culture in their charities.
Another 32 per cent said their charities failed to regularly review the performance of trustees.
The report says 21 per cent of respondents were not confident that their suppliers’ values aligned with those of their charities. And, although 43 per cent of respondents said they carried out informal checks on their suppliers’ reputations, only 20 per cent had formal procedures in place to do this.
One in 10 charities had no process in place to assess their overall reputation, researchers found, and 15 per cent of respondents said trustees would not know if there was a poor workplace culture in their organisations because they did not measure it.
About 74 per cent of respondents said they believed internal communications at their charities were either good or excellent, and a further 17 per cent thought they were kept in the loop regarding major developments at their charities.
Andrew Pepper-Parsons, head of policy at the whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work, said: "Having a policy in place is one thing, but communicating it to staff and checking its effectiveness through periodic review is important as well.
"You don’t want to get into a position where it’s a box-ticking exercise in terms of having a policy. Make sure that staff feel secure in using those arrangements."