The Charity Sleuths

What the Intelligent Giving researchers are uncovering, and whose turn it is to make the tea

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Why Annual Reports?

Increasingly people are asking us why we are examining the Annual Reports of charities rather than other public-facing material. Here's the answer:

1. Every charity has an Annual Report, because it has to publish one by law. Not every charity has a Review or a web site or other publicity materials.
2. There is clear guidance from the Charity Commission on what should be in an Annual Report. There is no guidance, or norm, for what should be on a website or in marketing materials.
3. The smallest charity can produce a transparent and informative Annual Report more cheaply and easily than it can produce a transparent and informative web site.
4. And so.. wealthier charities tend to have better web sites than smaller charities. The playing ground is more level with Annual Reports.
5. A peripheral point, but significant: it takes far longer to review a web site than to review an Annual Report (I know - I used to review sites for Internet Magazine).

We plan to refine our criteria next year. I welcome suggestions on how we might do that.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

my long expereince of working with charities - look at how much in terms of percentage is spent on office administation - can be alarming

7:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how would aid reach the global south without 'administration' margaret? or charities pay salaries to attract staf with the necesary expertise? or rent? or computers?
generalisinations like this are quite unhelpful indeed.

11:05 pm  

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