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Charity Commission ‘compliance’ bar chart

Comment 7th July 2010

Remove the 'compliance' bar chart from the front page of a charity's Annual Return

Why does this matter?

The statutary requirement is that a registered charity must make its Annual Return to The Charity Commission within 10 months of its financial year-end.   Provided that requirement is met, compliance is achieved – compliance is all or nothing.

(So it is intellectually flawed and, in any case, the convention with bar charts is that the higher the bar = the better outcome)

Volunteers fit their charity responsibilities around other commitments.  I am treasurer for a small charity and complete the accounts for the AGM in March/April, do non-financial work for another charity mainly in May – July, help with grandchildren etc.  The Charity Commission return is a task I attend to in the autumn lull, before the Christmas rush.

I suspect that the intention is that I should strive to return it earlier and earlier – a form of bullying.  It has the opposite effect on me – I shall now submit it shortly before the deadline.  The honest way for the CC to achieve an earlier return would be openly to move the deadline forward.

Someone in the Charities Commission must waste the day cooking up bar charts.  It is an insult to volunteers.  All that is required is a tick-box to indicate that the return has been made within the deadline, or a note to record that it has not.

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