New charity commission trustee portal is a welcome step to improve engagement

Rebecca Frost
Rebecca Frost

All charities rely on individuals who are willing to give their time and skills to act as trustees. Now a new online initiative from the Charity Commission has been launched to provide better support for trustees – and it’s a good idea for anyone on a charity’s board to sign up.

Rebecca Frost

The new ‘My Charity Commission Account’ is a new way for trustees (and other charity contacts) to access the Charity Commission’s online services.  The stated aim of the new portal is to ‘improve engagement and boost support for individuals who volunteer their time and skills to guide charities’

It is part of the Commission’s plans to move away from communicating solely with organisations, and to engage more with individual stakeholders in charities.

Initially signing up to the new service will enable individual trustees to update and maintain their own personal details, without having to rely on the ‘charity contact’ who is responsible for dealing with the Charity Commission.  An individual who is involved with more than one charity will be able to access this service in relation to all of their charitable organisations through a single login.

In time the ‘My Charity Commission Account’ is planned to offer more online services and improve the engagement between the Commission and individual trustees, including providing tailored support and information to help trustees run charities better.

This is a welcome step forward which should dramatically improve engagement with trustees and give them an extra level of support, and we would encourage all trustees to sign up for the new service.

In order to be able to do this, it is important that the Charity Commission has each trustee’s correct email address – charity administrators can ensure this is the case by using the Commission’s ‘Update Charity Details’ service. The Commission will then email each individual trustee to invite them to set up an account.

Charities will still need to have one or more Administrator accounts, which are able to access the full range of Charity Commission online services (such as filing returns and editing trustee information on the register of charities).

The move by the Charity Commission towards engaging on a more individual basis with charity trustees is welcome, as it should help drive up compliance with regulatory requirements and increase transparency, improving the charity sector’s accountability to the public.  It will also give individual trustees more control over their own information and more knowledge about their governance respsibilities – and ultimately help them run their charities more effectively.

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