Commission to put spotlight on safeguarding
The safeguarding of children, young people and adults at risk of harm are one of the issues which the people of Northern Ireland are concerned about, according to new research.
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland recently took part in the Celtic Charity Awareness Monitor, submitting a number of bespoke questions for inclusion in the research.
The Celtic Charity Awareness Monitor survey, undertaken by research consultancy, nfpSynergy in June 2019, provides a unique insight into the public in Northern Ireland and their views on charities.
And, amongst the findings, were that 57% of the 800 respondents were very or extremely concerned about safeguarding* - an issue the Commission is putting a particular focus on.
“Issues such as safeguarding have become of increasing significance in recent years,” said Frances McCandless, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Chief Executive.
“Safeguarding refers to activities which promote the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm, ensuring they are in an environment which provides safe and effective care. Understandably safeguarding is an extremely important issue for the public and charities working with those groups.
“The Commission, as charity regulator, has heard those concerns and is taking action. For example, in a first for the Commission we hosted an essential safeguarding good practice seminar for charities – bringing good practice guidance and advice out to the sector.
“We’re also working on ways to gather new data on charities’ safeguarding, data protection and fundraising processes and awareness - information which will help us build knowledge of the sector and target our resources more effectively.”
In addition to issues of concern, the Celtic Monitor research also looked at the qualities which were likely to increase trust and confidence in a given charity**, with 58% of respondents indicating that a charity making a positive impact on the lives of its beneficiaries was an important quality.
Other qualities which were identified as important were:
- Operates ethically and honestly in keeping with its stated values (49% of respondents)
- Spends its donations in line with its fundraising campaigns (38%)
- Is transparent and accountable in its reporting (33%)
- Can demonstrate good governance and financial management (22%)
These findings again tie in with the work of the Commission which, through the register of charities and the charity annual reporting programme, offer the public new ways to check and scrutinize the work of charities.
Ms McCandless continued: “The register of charities offers the public a wealth of information on charities, from what the charity does and who the trustees are, through to the annual accounts and reports.
“For example, one of the qualities that inspires trust was that a charity spends its donations in line with its fundraising campaigns - an area that charities report to the Commission through the annual monitoring return.
“As the register of charities grows, more information will become available, further increasing the openness and transparency of a sector that is of significant value to the public, the economy and the communities in which they operate,” she concluded.
For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland communications officer, on tel: 028 3832 0220, or email: email@example.com
Notes to editors
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Communities.
The research was undertaken on 800 adults (16+) in living in Northern Ireland and is conducted through an online panel. As far as possible the sample is representative of the population by age, gender and social class.
*The question asked in the survey was: Below is a list of issues affecting society and we would like to know how concerned you are about them.
- Women suffering violence and denied basic rights
- Safeguarding of children and young people and adults at risk of harm in Northern Ireland charities
- 10% of the world’s population live in extreme poverty struggling to survive on less than £1.50 a day
- People not being able to grow enough food to survive
- People suffering because of humanitarian disasters
- There are more than 25 million refugees in the world – people who have been forced to flee from their homes because of…
- The risk that laws protecting wildlife could become weaker in Northern Ireland
- The way the land is farmed and managed in Northern Ireland could lead to further declines in wildlife
- Management and administration of charities in Northern Ireland
The results were:
**The question asked in the survey was: From the list below please indicate which qualities are most likely to increase your trust and confidence in a given charity. Please rank your choices.
· Makes a positive impact on the lives of its beneficiaries
· Operates ethically and honestly in keeping with its stated values
· Spends its donations in line with its fundraising campaigns
· Is trans[parent and accountable in its reporting
· Can demonstrate good governance and financial managements
The results were:
For more information about the survey, see https://nfpsynergy.net/tracking-research/celtic-charity-awareness-monitor