Safeguarding your charity
The recent news on Oxfam charity workers is devastating and uncalled for. The aftermath has seen many thousands of donors withdrawing their financial support and the damage to the charity’s reputation has had a huge financial impact for the charity and this can happen to any charity whatever the size, as we have seen with Oxfam.
In December 2017 Charity Commission updated their strategy for dealing with safeguarding issues in charities. Trustees should proactively safeguard and promote the welfare of the charity’s beneficiaries. This should be key governance priority for trustees.
Trustees should be reviewing their safeguarding governance and management arrangements and performance every year. Charity Commission has published guidance to help trustees carry out their legal duties. They have also provided a checklist of 15 questions to evaluate the charity’s governance, finance and resilience. Good governance in charities is fundamental to their success. This brings an understanding of the risks and opportunities that face the charity. It also ensures robust decisions will be made based on meaningful information. Finally this should bring a positive impact on reputation and relationships within the charity and with their beneficiaries.
It is important that charities engage with the regulator frankly and openly. The Commission must fully understand the allegations that have been made to ensure there is confidence in the charity’s approach to safeguarding now and in the future.