Press releases

Sir Stuart Etherington’s speech on local infrastructure, delivered at the Big Assist Beacon awards in Manchester on Monday 5 October 2015.

First of all can I thank you Alex for the opportunity to co-host this evening’s event and also for the great work GMCVO is doing in Manchester as the opportunities and challenges of devolution grow in the region.

Responding to the announcement by the Minister for Civil Society, Sir Stuart Etherington, chair of the cross party review of fundraising regulation and chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said:

"I’m pleased the government has accepted our recommendations, there is a clear need for a more visible and effective regulator with tough new powers. The public have to know where to report their concerns and have confidence that action will be taken in relation to wrong doing. This will inevitably mean big changes in relation to how charities raise funds from the public.

New ‘Fundraising Preference Service’ for public to get off mailing lists

The body charged with regulating fundraising must be closed down and replaced with a more effective outfit with tougher sanctions, a review of the self-regulatory system has recommended.

Charities have not seen the recovery experienced by the economy overall, a new report today shows (PDF, 830kb).

While the rest of the economy has grown, the charity sector's income has flat-lined since 2009.

On current projections, charities will be faced with a £4.6bn shortfall in income by 2018/19 - the result of cuts to government contract and grant income, tepid growth in donations from the public, and inflation.

Monday 29 June

New guidance on managing and governing fundraising is to be produced in the light of recent public concern about some charity fundraising tactics.

Commenting on the National Audit Office report on the government's use of payment-by-results schemes, Karl Wilding, policy director at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which represents charities, said:

'Our own research found charities thought payment-by-results contracts were often being used because they were political 'flavour of the month' rather than because they were appropriate for the service being delivered.

Charity sector income and expenditure continued to flatline in 2012/13, new data published today by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations showed (1). The figures represent a continuation of the recent trend in the charity sector economy, which has plateaued at a level slightly below the peak it reached in 2007/8 after several years of rapid growth.

Volunteers across the UK are being thanked for their efforts as part of a range of events to mark Volunteers’ Week 2015 which runs from 1 to 7 June.

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said:

‘In the run up to today’s election result, NCVO has consistently argued that charities and voluntary groups can make a bigger difference in dealing with the issues we face as a society, and in creating opportunities for all. There are substantial challenges ahead: public service reform, a fragile recovery, and calls for democratic renewal. Charities and voluntary groups are part of the solution to these problems, and we look forward to working with the new government to realise the sector’s potential.

The appointment of the chair of the Charity Commission should be subject to greater parliamentary scrutiny, a new paper from NCVO recommends.

The paper (PDF, 200KB) follows concerns that successive chairs of the Commission have been subject to accusations of political bias in their work, following the 2006 reforms which revamped the Commission's governance.

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