The Select Committee on Charities was set up on 25 May 2016 to consider issues related to sustaining the charity sector and the challenges of charity governance. The Committee, chaired by Baroness Pitkeathley, has to report by 31 March 2017.
The following is a public call for written evidence to be summited to the Committee. The deadline is 5 September 2016.
The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit evidence to this inquiry. The submissions we receive will guide the Committee’s deliberations in oral evidence sessions later this year, and also inform the Committee’s final conclusions and recommendations. Public hearings began in early July and will continue until early December.
The Committee’s report will receive a response from the Government, and will be debated in the House of Lords.
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. We are looking to make sure that the attention on recent issues does not undermine the good work done by many charitable organisations.
We are looking to understand the pressures faced across the sector by charities. We will make recommendations to the UK Government, and to others, which we hope help ease these pressures, and to make sure that the charitable sector in England and Wales is sustainable for many years to come. We consider 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, we will be focusing our inquiry on the experiences of charities in England and Wales. We 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. We are looking for examples of best practice, innovation and ideas to bring the sector together to make sure that it can thrive.
We recognise the diversity of charities in England and Wales, and we want to learn about the experiences of them all. The questions that follow are wide ranging, and it is not necessary to answer every one.
1.What is the role and purpose of charities in civic society in England and Wales?
2.What are the main pressures faced by charities currently, and what impact have these had?
3.How do charities seek to innovate, particularly in the digital arena?
4.What skills are required to lead and manage a charity?
5.What role should trustees play in the performance and effectiveness of a charity?
6.How can charities ensure that they are properly accountable to their beneficiaries, their donors, and the general public?
7.What are the current challenges to financial sustainability, as well as efficient resource and risk management for the sector?
8.What is the potential of social investment and social impact bonds?
9.What should the role of Government be with the sector?
10.What can the charitable sector in England and Wales learn from other sectors and/or approaches taken in other countries, including from Northern Ireland and Scotland?