Community Matters, NAVCA and Small Charities Coalition respond to Hodgson
NAVCA, Community Matters and the Small Charities Coalition have written a joint open letter to Civil Society Minister, Nick Hurd MP, in response to Lord Hodgson’s report. The letter focusses on ten of Hodgson’s recommendations and classifies them using a traffic light system of red, amber or green.
Key points from the response include:
- Small charities will suffer unless the threshold to register as a charity is only raised after voluntary registration has been made available and organisations that claim tax relief are required to register.
- The recommendations require proper resourcing to work, in particular those that see more responsibility transferring to umbrella bodies.
- The recommendation to label charities as small is divisive and unwarranted.
- The cost for small charities of implementing the recommendations in full could be prohibitive for small charities
David Tyler, Chief Executive of Community Matters, said;
“The raising of the threshold to £25,000 has the potential to make registration just the preserve of larger charities and be damaging to the many small local charities that want to register. Lord Hodgson’s was clear that his intention is that raising of the threshold, voluntary registration and compulsory registration for those wanting to claim Gift Aid are a package. The Government will harm small charities if it raises the threshold before implementing all parts of this package.”
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of NAVCA, said;
“We are making clear that Lord Hodgson’s recommendations will only work if there is a co-ordinated advice service available to charities, especially smaller ones that will not be able to afford legal advice. Charities will turn to local and national umbrella bodies for this support. NAVCA, Community Matters and NCVO, with Charity Commission support, have proposed a scheme that will allow this to be properly resourced, both in terms of pump-priming funding and the ongoing support of the Charity Commission. We would like this proposal to be given further consideration.”
Cath Lee, Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition, said;
“Lord Hodgson made some sound and practical recommendations in the report. He also made some recommendations that, if care is not taken over the timing and detail of implementation, could be hugely damaging to the sector and to small charities in particular. We welcome the opportunity this presents to work collaboratively to avoid the danger zones and get it right.”