21 February, 2017
The charity sector is currently working to demonstrate its worth following criticism in recent years of its practices, particularly around fundraising methods.
We recently saw coverage on BBC radio stations that aimed to demonstrate the value of charities and this followed the launch of a new website by NCVO called ‘How Charities Work’. The site, which is currently in beta form, aims to help improve the public’s trust and confidence in the sector.
Clearly laid out, it’s a good starting point for those who have little or no knowledge of the sector. It covers key questions such as how charities spend their money, how they are regulated and how they are addressing concerns about fundraising.
It will be interesting to see the impact this will have on the public’s perception of not-for-profit organisations.
Anything that aids transparency and understanding is a positive. Those who are already ‘believers’ will be reassured to have their positive views reinforced; ‘non-believers’ might also want to come inside and take a look around.
For the latter audience in particular it would be good to see examples on the site that support the facts.
For example, charity work is still viewed by some as a part-time commitment to doing good rather than a career with considerable responsibilities. Saying staff earn the same as their commercial counterparts is one thing, but seeing examples of charity staff and what their job involves would help the non-believers in particular to see why they are, and should be, paid just as much.
The drive for understanding is one that will be ongoing as the public can forget the good aspects as, if not more, quickly than they can the bad.
The site is inviting feedback to help it develop and offer the information that people really want to see so take a look and share your thoughts.