The charity commission published its annual survey of what’s happening on the Charity register recently, and I think it makes for slightly concerning reading.
With 3,003 new charities being ‘approved’ in the last year this means that charities are now being created at more than 1 per hour! (assuming 252 working days and 8 working hours a day).
What’s more, the median income of these new charities is less than £30,000 – suggesting that they’re what I refer to as ‘pet’ charities.
In an age of austerity measures, when resources for charities are getting harder and harder to come by, why are so many people feeling the need to form new charities, rather than engaging with, and supporting, exiting ones who are crying out for new blood on their boards and struggling to raise sufficient finance. Surely we need to be better educating people who are thinking of setting up a new charity to encourage them to consider carefully if their energies wouldn’t in fact be better used in supporting those that already exist; or perhaps, as I’ve argued before, charity legislation isn’t flexible enough to reflect our changing society and so people are being forced to create new charities to continue to meet the needs of those most vulnerable in our communities?