Charities 'failing to explain' their positive impact

Charities need to do more to explain how people benefit from their work, according to research from the Charity Commission.

Jargon: Charities have been accused of measuring outputs over case studies
Jargon: Charities have been accused of measuring outputs over case studies
The research by Sheffield Hallam University found that many charities are missing out on the opportunity to spell out how their work has a positive impact on beneficiaries.

It showed that trustees are generally able to explain their charity's aims and who benefits from their work. However, they are less successful in explaining how they have benefited in practice.

Plan UK director of comms Leigh Daynes said of the findings: 'The apparent deficit in describing the difference charities make is disappointing. Often charities bamboozle the public with jargon and faux management speak when they're sitting on a gold mine of human interest stories.'

The research assessed how registered charities are getting to grips with the requirement, introduced in 2008, to report on public benefit in their Trustees' Annual Report.

In its analysis of the research the Charity Commission notes that, overall, charity trustees have made progress with the new requirement.

Charities with incomes in excess of £500,000 were particularly successful, with 94 per cent partially or fully addressing public benefit. However, the research shows many smaller charities are still not meeting the regulations.

The research involved a review of 1,402 annual reports and discussions with 30 charities.

CharityComms director Vicky Browning said that charities needed to shift from a culture of measuring outputs to outcomes.

'Charities which take a comms-led approach to reporting impact are the ones who tend to be better at it,' she said. 'One of the key ways to demonstrate outcomes is through case studies.'

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.