The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has published a report on its case into Didier Drogba Foundation (registered charity number 1135123).
The Commission was approached by a national newspaper earlier this year with concerns about the charity. These concerns related to the operation of the charity and potential that funds had been misapplied.
In a report published today, the Commission found that donors may have been misled about the activities of the charity they were supporting. This was because the operations of the charity and La Fondation Didier Drogba (a non-governmental organisation previously established by Mr Drogba in the Ivory Coast) were not adequately separated. The Commission considers this could affect the public’s trust and confidence in the English charity.
The Commission found failures in the charity’s governance, with poor record keeping and accounts that did not meet regulations. However it can also confirm that despite poor governance, there was no evidence of fraud or corruption on behalf of the charity.
Funds had been raised at a number of events in the UK for a hospital project in the Ivory Coast, but the charity had not yet spent any of the funds on charitable activity. The trustees said this was due to the political situation in the Ivory Coast but did not explain this to donors adequately. The Commission considers that donors will have expected their donations to have been used for charitable purposes, not accumulated in a bank account.
The Commission was satisfied that funds had not been misapplied and there was no evidence of fraud or corruption. However, the Commission has issued the charity with an action plan to ensure that the outstanding concerns, particularly with regard to transparency to donors and the public, are addressed by the charity’s trustees. The Commission will follow up with the charity to ensure that it is implemented.
David Holdsworth, Chief Operating Officer at the Charity Commission said:
Charities benefit greatly from the support and generosity of high profile individuals, who add a great deal to charities and causes they become involved in. This case highlights that having trustees with the right skills, experience and capacity is crucial to ensuring good governance, record keeping and transparency which are key to operating a charity effectively.
The Charity Commission and the public expect charities to be transparent about how they raise and spend their funds, and provide clarity on the amount that goes to the end cause.
The Commission publishes reports regarding its compliance cases where it is appropriate and proportionate to publish a report, there is significant public interest in the case and its outcome and/or other charities need to be aware of the issues or lessons in the case.
The full report is available on GOV.UK.
Notes to editors
The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
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