The top 10 most-read stories of 2016

Find out which stories were most popular with Third Sector readers this year, from 10 to one

This year saw plenty of headlines for the RSPCA, beginning in February when two of its trustees, Christopher Laurence and Sally Phillips, stepped down amid concerns over governance and management at the animal charity.

Of course, there was much discussion and debate in the sector about the EU referendum – before and after the vote – and the lawyer Emma Flower's thoughts on how a vote to leave the EU could have implications for tax breaks, EU funding and demand from service users proved popular.

In parliament, peers were accused by Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, of "an undisguised attempt to undermine or even block the government’s manifesto commitment" when the House of Lords sought to protect housing associations from being forced to sell properties under the right-to-buy scheme. The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill's general committee rejected the clause.

Back to the EU, and there was a stark warning from the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign that British charities would lose more than £200m in funding each year if the UK voted to leave the union.

She might have been one of the stories (perhaps THE story) of 2015, but the fallout from Kids Company's collapse ensured that Camila Batmanghelidjh remained in the public eye. In January, it was revealed that the Oasis Charitable Trust was looking at ways in which it could work with the controversial figure.

Moving into the top five articles of the year and we have the first appearance of a regulator. In April (not 1 April), the Charity Commission revealed the most-complained-about charity in 2015. If you can't remember, here's the story.

At number four, we have an organisation that is guaranteed to set the Third Sector comments section alight. It's the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society of Great Britain, the umbrella charity for the Jehovah's Witnesses, which in March said it would appeal a Court of Appeal ruling that it was not entitled to apply for a judicial review of the scope of a Charity Commission inquiry about child safeguarding.

Many people like to read about themselves (secretly or not), and so it proved in October when the 2016 Third Sector Charity Brand Index, which gauges public awareness of charity brands, was revealed. The index, now in its eighth year, is compiled in partnership with the market research company Harris Interactive and ranked 155 charity brands based on research carried out with more than 4,000 UK adults.


Firmly in the latter stages of 2016 and a good news story for charity dominated November when the Co-op announced it was looking for more than 4,000 local good causes to benefit from a share of an estimated £8m generated through its membership scheme. Although the application process has closed, the Co-op says good causes from some areas might still be able to apply.

And finally, which story topped the Third Sector rankings in 2016? All is revealed here.

Third Sector would like to wish its readers a merry Christmas and a happy new year. We'll be back in 2017

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