New Year, same old stories.

A headline in today’s Times runs “Domestic abuse charity boss accused of bully culture” and reports on a letter sent by staff members of Refuge to that charity’s trustees over a year ago.

Refuge of course provides specialist support to victims of domestic violence. Historic allegations now revealed by The Times concern an “abusive” environment where staff were “belittled” by management, as well as accusations of mismanagement of funds by the charity’s chief executive.

The article goes on to mention that already the Charity Commission has opened and closed a compliance case and that the trustees commissioned an independent report by the Centre for Charity Effectiveness, accepted all its recommendations and that its executive has co-operated in their implementation.

But how many readers will get past the headline and into the detail?

The genie is well and truly out of the bottle and it doesn’t take a futurologist to work out that into 2019 and beyond charities will have to continue to heed the recent words of Baroness Stowell:

A charity, to inspire trust, must be more than an organisation with laudable aims. 

It must be a living example of charitable purpose, charitable attitudes, and charitable behaviour. 

It must behave like a charity, not just call itself a charity because of the aims it has and the work it does.”

Come along to our annual charity law updates later this month (in Manchester and Liverpool) to stay abreast of the state of regulation and the basic steps the Commission is expecting all charities to take and, if your trustees require a refresher or induction on their key responsibilities, then also consider whether one of our half-day charity trustee workshops in the coming months (to be run in our Manchester office) may be just the thing to help your charity keep its new year resolution, to retain and enhance the high regard in which it is held.