Wednesday, 30 June 2004

Charity Commission criticises reporting by Charities

It was reported on the BBC today that a report by the Charity Commission criticised a number of top charities on their reporting. This came on the same day as I received the draft of our Annual report from our Auditors, ready to go to the WLT Trustees for approval early next month.

The key findings of the report, quoted on the BBC’s website were

  • 126 charities explained their achievements well
  • 13 said nothing at all about their achievements
  • 92 did not comment sufficiently on the activities of volunteers
  • 12 international aid charities were top performers
  • 73 charities, which mainly rely on government funding, were among the least transparent.
The Chief Charity Commissioner also said that it was among the larger charities that the reporting was least satisfactory.

When I reviewed our next Annual Report, I was pleased to note, that the WLT would out-perform on all fronts. Our report explains all our recent achievements (which of course are also well summarised on this website), and we include a report on the contribution volunteers make (and these are also publicised on this web site), and finally as an international charity we pride ourselves on transparency.

I also reviewed a number of other international charities involved with saving rainforests and other habitats by visiting their websites, and I was amazed how little information most of them impart about the actual organisation. We have a list of all staff, Trustees (including pictures) and details of their background, so that our donors know they are dealing with real people, who know what they are talking about. Some organisations don’t even have a postal address on their site, and very few publicise who their Trustees are. We are proud to have a board of Trustees, together with patrons and officers all of which are relevant and knowledgeable about our mission.

We are convinced that a lot of the World Land Trust’s recent success has been in large part due to its web site – most charities actually subsidise their website, but ours is now making a significant contribution to our fundraising efforts. We believe this is because our web site is more informative than others, and also because we do try and respond to any questions sent to us by donors. As ever, feedback is welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment