Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, has warned that charities are likely to face extra scrutiny in the coming months, as a cost-of-living crisis looms.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Stephenson highlighted that many charities will face a "double squeeze" as the crisis may cause a simultaneous surge in demand and reduction in charity income. The Charities Aid Foundation reported a massive decrease in charitable giving earlier this year (noting that 2 million fewer people made donations to charity) and polling suggesting that people will cut back on charity donations in order to manage other rising living costs.
As a result, the financial management of charities is likely to be the subject of intensified public and media attention as society faces "one of the toughest economic climates in a generation".
Stephenson explained that while the Commission will not "pounce" on charities due to media attention, this does not mean that legitimate concerns, mistakes, or misjudgements will not be taken seriously by the Commission.
Charity leaders will need to be prepared for this and will need to "explain their decisions openly and with integrity".
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