Government to review charity classification and lottery funding, in response to Kruger review

The government has pledged to review how charities are classified, to focus more on the support and services they deliver, according to its response to Danny Kruger’s review of civil society.

A review of the National Lottery Community Fund is also promised, but ministers have rejected Kruger’s recommendation of a passport scheme to match up volunteers with charities.

The plans are outlined in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)’s response to recommendations made in Conservative MP Kruger’s 2020 report Levelling up our communities: proposals for a new social covenant, which had been commissioned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Plans to review how charities are classified and displayed on the Charity Commission’s register have come in response to Kruger’s recommendation that better data is needed “about what funding goes where, and what outcomes are delivered”.

“Enabling civil society to play a major role in levelling up all parts of the country will require a much clearer understanding of ‘who is doing what and where’, alongside a fuller picture of the issues facing civil society in different communities,” says the government’s response.

“In support of this, DCMS is supporting the Charity Commission to revise how charities are classified and displayed on the charity register, focussing in particular on what charities deliver and how they deliver it.”

Lottery review

Kruger also recommended that the National Lottery Community Fund, “which is now 25 years old” is overhauled to focus more on local and community led distribution of Lottery funding.

The government has said it will “renew the policy directions of the Fund” this year to ensure it maintains a focus on supporting local good causes and ministers’ Levelling Up agenda.

“We expect to consult publicly on new government policy directions for the National Lottery Community Fund in 2022, to explore how to bring an even sharper focus on investments in the places and people most in need,” confirmed the government in its response.

Among recommendations rejected by ministers is Kruger’s plan to bring in a Volunteer Passport system to match the supply and demand for volunteers. He mooted that this could include a ‘National Volunteer Reserve’ to be called on for future emergencies and environmental projects.

But the government says this scheme would “duplicate” recruitment of volunteers already underway and “there is limited need or demand” for it in the voluntary sector.

The government’s response has been published alongside funding announcement pledges for good causes, outlined in the government’s Levelling Up White Paper.

Pro Bono Economics has produced a ‘cheat sheet’ following these latest announcements on what the government “will act on, is already acting on, and won’t act on”.

Among government commitments outlined is its pledge to consult on the use of extra funding for the charity sector to be made available through dormant assets.

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