Press releases

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations – the representative body for charities, said:

‘This report reflects what we have said for years. In order to maintain public trust, charities want a vigilant and effective regulator which takes prompt action in the rare instances of abuse. While it’s important the Commission doesn’t throw the book at charities that have made a simple mistake, for too long it has veered the other way, taking a soft-touch approach in even the most serious cases.

More organisations are creating and advertising ‘micro-volunteering’ opportunities, according to new research from NCVO published today.

Demand for such volunteering opportunities, often tasks that can be completed online or on smartphones, is also likely to grow, the research concludes, as it provides a more accessible form of volunteering which is increasingly sought after. Growth will also be driven by technological development.

The way a key government mechanism to improve public services has been implemented has often been ‘seriously flawed’, a report today argues.

NCVO today (Friday 11 October) announced the members of the Executive Pay Inquiry that will draw up guidelines for charity trustees when deciding on pay levels for senior executives.

The Inquiry will explore the arguments about what are appropriate levels of pay for charity senior executives, and how these levels should be arrived at. It will also explore the relationship between salary levels and public trust and confidence in the sector as a whole. The Inquiry will produce definitive guidelines for charity trustees, informed by a broad debate on the issues involved, to take into account when setting salaries.

Responding to the publication of the government’s amendments, Sir Stuart Etherington, CEO of NCVO said:

"The government’s commitment to address the legitimate concerns of many charities and other voluntary organisations remains welcome, however, the proposed amendments do not go far enough.

NCVO today (Thursday 26 September) announced the make-up of the group that will create the first ever set of standards for charity campaigning and lobbying.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

"The government made a commitment to ensure that normal campaigning is not inadvertently impacted by this rushed legislation. We will be taking legal advice on the proposed amendments when they are published to determine whether they have met this commitment. We will also discuss them with our members.

Commenting on today’s announcement by the Ministry of Justice on the providers of rehabilitation services across England and Wales, Sir Stuart Etherington said:

“Specialist charities, many involving dedicated volunteers, can make all the difference to the lives of people leaving prison and help reduce reoffending. It’s pleasing to see that after consulting widely with the voluntary sector the Government has taken on board some of the lessons of the Work Programme – particularly in terms of programme structure and supply chain management.

Following the publication of the revised Public Benefit Guidance by the Charity Commission, Elizabeth Chamberlain, Senior Policy Officer said:

'The Commission has made good work of the challenging job of distilling centuries of case law into guidance for trustees. We remain of the view that it would be helpful for parliament to establish some high-level principles of public benefit to which the Commission and trustees could have regard.

Following the government's agreement to abandon its plan to change what constitutes non-party campaigning, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

'The government’s commitment to abandon the change to the test of what constitutes non-party campaigning is a significant step in the right direction. When the new wording is published we will take legal advice and also urgently seek the view of the Electoral Commission, to ensure the revised test meets the spirit and the letter of policy intent set out by government.

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