Charity Commission begins faith group outreach

The Charity Commission is about to launch a major push to elevate its profile, in parrallel with a drive to establish more links with faith groups.

Atkinson:   sensitive to cultural issues
Atkinson: sensitive to cultural issues

As part of this plan, it is recruiting for a head of news to replace senior press officer Grace Money, who left the Commission in June. The new recruit will head a team of three. The desire for the comms team to become more proactive reflects the provisions of the Charities Act 2006, which required the Commission to increase accountablility of charities.

A revised strategy on faith and social cohesion will be delivered by members of the 14-strong corporate aff­airs team and will put into practise lessons learned from previous work with these communities.

Previous experience has taught the body to be more sensitive to different cultural issues, said Sarah Atkinson, head of corporate affairs.

She stressed that understanding and engaging with these groups was key. ‘For example, Muslims and Sikhs have a huge commitment to charitable giving as a religious requirement, but they are also discouraged from discussing such contributions,’ she said.

‘We need to be aware that asking these charities to rep­ort back on fundraising may make them uncomfortable.’

The new unit received a £1.2m payout from the Government in April.

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