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Charity Commission launches new five-year strategy

The charity regulator for England and Wales published a new strategy on 26 February. CFG's Head of Policy, Richard Sagar, went to the launch to find out what it will mean for registered charities...

Photo of Charity Commission Chair Orlando Fraser taken from strategy document

Orlando Fraser, Chair, Charity Commission


Alongside six new values, the Commission has set out its continuing ambition 'to be the expert Charity Commission that is fair, balanced, and independent so that charity can thrive.'

The new five-year strategy includes five key priorities:

  • To be fair and proportionate in its work, and clear about its role.
  • To support charities to get it right, while taking robust action where it sees wrongdoing and harm.
  • To speak with authority and credibility, free from the influence of others.
  • To embrace technological innovation and strengthen its use of data.
  • To be an expert Commission where its people are empowered and enabled to deliver excellence in regulation.

There is much to say on each of these principles and the ‘how we will achieve this’ sections which accompany each of them, but there are one or two initial things which will be of immediate interest.

Supporting governance and finance

There are many positives to be found, including a commitment within priority two to 'Work with charities to support efforts to secure trustees and finances for long-term sustainability', encouraging trusteeship and increasing confidence in the sector through proportionate regulation.

Within principle three there is a commitment to 'use our expertise to help other policymakers and Government Departments understand how their proposals or draft legislation impacts charity regulation.'

This is to be welcomed, as there are many instances of charities being adversely impacted by the unintended consequences of legislation. Notable examples of this include the potential of the Digital Markets Competition and Consumer Bill to effect Gift Aid.

A focus on data

Priority four emphasises the importance of open data and improving 'digital services to enhance the speed, quality, and efficiency of our service to charities. There will be a straightforward experience for routine interactions and updates, such as filing accounts and registration.'

This will be reassuring as many CFG members have faced challenges with filing their accounts, so a commitment to improve interaction with their digital services is much needed.

There is also a pledge to 'evolve our public register so that information about charities is easy to find, transparent and helps the public to make informed choices about charity and gives interested parties accessible and accurate data about charity and its impact in England and Wales.'

Measuring impact and success

The Commission says that it will establish a set of strategic impact measures by the middle of this year and expects to report on these in its 2024/25 Annual Report.

Outside of the strategy document itself it was reassuring that the Commission's Chair, Orlando Fraser, reiterated that he will not let the commission be “misused or weaponised by any army involved in fighting these (culture) wars". He emphasised the independent role of the Commission and said that its focus is on upholding charity law.

Overall, the sector has welcomed the new strategy. However, with a Spending Review expected later in the year, and a general election, it is hoped the Commission will have the funding and resources it needs to fulfil its ambitions. Charities depend on a strong, effective and independent Commission to provide trust and confidence, as do donors, beneficiaries and the general public.

Read the Charity Commission Strategy (

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