Saturday, July 2 2022

Confirmation of the new chair of the Charity Commission

Orlando Fraser has been confirmed as the new chairman of the Charity Commission, after 12 months of searching for a permanent holder. Fraser’s nomination follows the failed nomination of Martin Thomas. Thomas quit the job days after being cleared by the Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in December 2021, after it emerged formal complaints had been made against him for behavior inappropriate.

We demanded a complete resumption of the appointment process and raised concerns about political independence. The DCMS Committee rejected the government’s choice, and also questioned Fraser’s political independence as the sole Conservative candidate. The government has since appointed Fraser for a three-year term, starting April 25, 2022.

We are confident that Fraser will bring significant charitable and regulatory experience. However, we are disappointed that the government has not restarted the appointment process. We felt it was important to have a transparent, open and politically independent process that gives confidence to the sector.

We look forward to engaging with Fraser and continuing our positive working relationship with the Charity Commission.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Charity Governance

EDI is a key governance priority, not only in terms of board diversity and inclusion, but also how boards can then lead practices in their own organizations.

We are happy to partner with the Social Justice Collective to organize a dedicated course on EDI in Charitable Governancewhich takes place over three half-days in May and June 2022. The course addresses the two areas described above and explores the implementation of the principle of the Charity Governance Code on EDI.

I’m really happy to say that the first cohort completed the course and gave us great feedback. We thank the Social Justice Collective for their work and recommend the course to any board member or governance professional committed to improving the practice of EDI.

Learn more about EDI training or reserve a spot for the next set of training dates in May and June.

Support for Ukraine

Last month, my colleague Sally wrote about how charities and trustees can respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The Charity Commission has since updated its advice on the Ukraine crisis for trustees and charities. It includes a lot of useful information to guide your decision-making in response to the crisis.


Dan Francois is the principal governance consultant for the NCVO. For more regular updates, follow @mynameisdanfran or @NCVO on Twitter.

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