Skip to main content

The Charity Commission – trusted, valued and in great demand!

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: News, Public Trust, Research

The results of our 2017 Trust and Confidence in the Charity Commission survey are good news for the Commission. Against a backdrop of falling trust in institutions of all kinds, public trust in the Commission has held steady since 2015 (at 6.0). The public (88%) think we do a vital job. And there’s strong endorsement from charities and the public for our regulatory priorities.

There’s more good news, following last year’s widely anticipated fall in public trust and confidence in charities. This survey shows that charities are well trusted compared to other sectors. But there is no room for complacency, as charity stakeholders are clearly aware.

Other findings are more nuanced. Whilst public trust held firm, perceptions of charity regulation as effective slipped (but remain positive overall). Conversely, whilst charities’ high level of trust in the Commission dipped slightly, 77% of charities now say that regulation is effective.

I think this may be indicative of rising public expectations – both of charities and of their regulator.
The public are more aware of charities and the vital role they play. Nearly a third of the public are aware that they have benefited from a charity’s services. Charities have been at the forefront of responses to recent emergencies, as I’ve seen first-hand. They are also in it for the long haul, fulfilling vital roles – in heritage, animal welfare, palliative care, and medical and educational provision. With greater awareness comes more demand.

In addition, well over half of the public are now aware of the Commission. They are making more use of our website and online register. They are reassured by knowing that a charity is registered. Whilst 41% think the level of charity regulation is about right, more people feel that there is too little regulation than too much. They agree that we should focus on holding charities to account, enforcing compliance and enabling charities to be more effective.

So we continue to publicise the fact that, where there is poor or bad practice, we take action to deal with it. We make no apology for acting on public concerns including those aired in the media, often difficult issues like extremism, poor safeguarding practice and high profile governance failures.

But of course we want to communicate good news too, sharing case studies of good practice from which other charities can learn and providing the resources to support trustees to get it right. It’s encouraging that the research shows more trustees using our guidance and services – 47% used online guidance (up 12% from 2015) and 68% updated their charity details online (up 7%).

So in presenting this research I am both proud of my colleagues’ achievements, and publicly acknowledging that we have to strive still harder across all fronts. And of course, the bottom line is the struggle to secure the resources to do the whole range of what the public and charities expect from us properly and sustainably.

We are committed to investigating funding models where the biggest charities make some contribution, to allow us to develop and improve the key services from which the sector benefits. We also continue to make the case to the Treasury for our core funding to increase. These are difficult conversations to have, but we cannot avoid them, and we hope soon to secure Treasury agreement to consult publicly on our future funding.

I hope you’ll find much of interest in the report we’re sharing today. I hope publishing it shows that we hold ourselves to account for securing public trust and confidence in our own role, and we challenge ourselves to do ever better.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Garry Brandrick posted on

    A very biased report, are the calls recorded and available to the general public

  2. Comment by Tim White posted on

    I believe that all charities, not just the biggest, should pay towards the CC.

  3. Comment by Steve King posted on

    Your spin is, I suggest, someway off the reality of everyday experience. I think you will find that most members of the public have no idea what you actually do to regulate the sector and those of us who watch you closely are generally horrified that you seem to avoid investigation wherever possible, take an inordinate amount of time to investigate cases where you do finally feel it appropriate and when you complete enquiries rarely take meaningful action against wrongdoers. One highly respected Chairman of a major charity described your customer service ethos to me as "probably the worst of any orgnisation in the UK"

    None of your exec board seems willing to engage on the issues (my open letter of 11 April 2017 so far unacknowledged by a single member can be seen on my website) and I would be very happy to share both my experience and information I have found with anyone in your organisation who is genuninely interested in making a difference.

  4. Comment by N Butler posted on

    A very comprehensive site, but I need to talk to someone can anyone please give me guidance as to whom I can talk to about a registered charity and its trustees please.

    • Replies to N Butler>

      Comment by katebell posted on

      Hi there, our helpline is available 10am to midday and 1pm to 3pm, Monday to Friday, on 0300 066 9197

  5. Comment by Benjamin shawcross posted on

    If only we could compensate the victims of foreign factory's whilst buying home appliances, technology ext.. compensation to employees directly into their hand would be a good way to help their lives and a true heart felt statement from UK shoppers to capitalism's most prostituted.

  6. Comment by Randolph posted on

    ‘Charity Navigator’ website is the standard for the public to assess a charity. It’s a US based model but there’s no reason why the Charity Commission does not produce its own version. I do not want to donate to a charity that has s CEO on a six figure ‘remuneration’ package that represents 0.5% of donations.

  7. Comment by Naeem Khalid posted on

    I have little faith in the charity commission. There is a charity where the chairman is the owner of a number of other compaines. These companies, charge the charity for its services. The charity commission does not even investigate this. Also what is the legal requirement on how much of the annual income is donated to good causes.