News story

Ensuring charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society

Charity Commission unveils its purpose as part of new Statement of Strategic Intent

CC strategy

We have today published our new Statement of Strategic Intent, which sets out our core purpose and our priorities for the five years to 2023.

That new purpose, to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society, will inform everything we do.

Our new purpose and Statement of Strategic Intent do not replace our statutory objectives, which we will continue to fulfil. But we are clear that regulation is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

We must do all we can to ensure charities can show that they are being true to their purposes, demonstrate the difference they’re making, and meet the high expectations the public have of charities.

These expectations include that a charity must be more than an organisation with worthy aims. It must be a living example of charitable purpose, charitable attitudes, and charitable behaviour.

Our strategy makes clear that charities and the Commission share a collective responsibility for ensuring the concept of charity survives and thrives into the future and charities reach their potential for good in our society.

Baroness Stowell, Chair of the Charity Commission, says:

From now on, the Commission is a purpose-driven regulator. We are clear not just on what we do, but about why we do it. Our purpose is deliberately positive: charity is a vital force for good in our society, and we as regulator share a responsibility with charities to help maximise the positive impact charity has, to help charity reach its potential.

Our great challenge is that charities are not always living up to the public’s expectation that being a charity is about how we behave, not just what we set out to achieve. The public, quite reasonably, expect a charity to have charitable aims, and to be a living, breathing expression of charitable behaviour and attitude. By working on this together, charities and the Commission will help ensure that charities thrive, so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.

Our Statement of Strategic Intent sets out and explains 5 new strategic objectives. They are:

  • holding charities to account
  • dealing with wrongdoing and harm
  • informing public choice
  • giving charities the understanding and tools they need to succeed
  • keeping charity relevant for today’s world

You can read more about each objective, and about how our work will be changing to meet them, in the Statement of Strategic Intent.

We’re now working on a more detailed road map that will translate the Statement of Strategic Intent into a plan for action. We envisage that, as we work to deliver against our purpose, we will engage in conversation, and in some cases in consultation with charities and others on specific proposals or changes to the way we regulate.

The statement replaces our previous strategic plan, which ran to 2018.

On Thursday 4 October, our Chair Baroness Stowell gave a speech explaining what our purpose and strategy mean for charities and for us as regulator.

Published 4 October 2018