ICAEW and Charity Commission collaborate on charity review project

The Charity Commission is calling on charities to take part in a new review project looking at strategy development and review in charities.

The project, launched jointly by the Commission and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), will involve 25 volunteer charities, each of which will receive a pro-bono strategy review from an ICAEW member.

All charities registered with the Charity Commission and with incomes of less than £5m are eligible to take part.

Each review will examine trustees’ approach to developing, implementing and reviewing their charity’s strategy. Reviewers will conduct desk-based research, including reviews of the charity’s business plan, and interview the trustees.

ICAEW will collate the reviewers’ findings and submit an anonymised report for the Charity Commission.

The Commission says the project findings will provide a snap shot of charities’ approach to strategy. This information will inform its regulatory approach and identify gaps in support for charities.

Sam Younger, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: “I am delighted that ICAEW are collaborating with us on this project. Good strategic planning helps trustees make sure their charity is fulfilling its objects as effectively as possible.

"Our case work shows that poor strategic planning can put charities at risk of serious regulatory problems. This project will give us insight into trustees’ understanding of strategy.

"I am confident that this will help us, and the charity sector itself, provide appropriate support and advice and improve charities’ performance.”

Nick Brooks, chair of ICAEW’s Charity and Voluntary Sector Group, said: “This new initiative links in very closely to the first project that the ICAEW undertook with the Charity Commission, which highlighted a lack of process in many charities over strategy planning.”

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