The Select Committee on Charities has published its call for evidence and invites all interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence to the inquiry by 5 September 2016.
The Committee has been set up to consider issues related to sustaining the charity sector, and the challenges of charity governance, and is now calling for written submissions from interested parties.
The charitable sector in the United Kingdom has a long and proud history of contributing to British society. Recent years have seen an unprecedented period of change to the environment in which the sector is operating. Furthermore, within the sector there have been a number of high profile events in recent months which have called into question practice in the voluntary and charitable sector. The Committee is looking to make sure that the attention on recent issues does not undermine the good work done by many charitable organisations.
Focus of the inquiry
The Committee is looking to understand the pressures faced across the sector by charities. Recommendations will be made to the UK Government, and to others, which the Committee hopes will help ease these pressures, and to make sure that the charitable sector in England and Wales is sustainable for many years to come. The Committee considers sustainability to be charities having the appropriate resources available to them to meet their charitable purposes.
As the regulation of charities is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and Scotland, the Committee will be focusing its inquiry on the experiences of charities in England and Wales. They do however want to learn about the experience of charities in Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as in other countries.
This inquiry is intended to be an opportunity to engage positively with charities and the voluntary sector. The Committee is looking for examples of best practice, innovation and ideas to bring the sector together to make sure that it can thrive.
Areas of interest
The focus of the Committee's inquiry will include:
- the main pressures currently faced by charities, and the impact these pressures have
- the skills required to lead and manage a charity
- the role trustees should play in the performance and effectiveness of a charity
- the role of national and local Government with the charitable sector
- the role of the Charity Commission
- charities' accountability to their beneficiaries, their donors, and the general public
- the effective delivery of services
- the current challenges to the financial sustainability of charities
- innovation, particularly in the digital arena.
Written evidence must be received by 5 September 2016. The Committee's reporting deadline is 31 March 2017.
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