Online Advice Network for Charities

  • New online portal by the Charity Commission as a network to help charities find specialist advice as it cuts down on offering individual guidance.

     The online service is designed to help charities find umbrella and infrastructure bodies offering specialist advice, but users have experienced teething problems.

    The service is a portal on the commission's website to help charities find the "best fit" umbrella body for their needs as well as to encourage more charities to access the help available to them.

    This comes after the Charity Commissions Strategic Plan 2012-2015 says it will cut down on offering guidance to individual charities and move away from being the first or only point of advice. This is due to a large drop in the budget, falling from £29.3m in 2010/11 to £21.3m in 2014/15.

    The service was launched on Friday, and lists capacity-building organisations that offer more general advice to charities rather than individual guidance.

    The Third Sector found that people have experienced a few problems with the site so far; it has been mentioned that the omission of Navca from the portal's ‘capacity-building bodies' section was a mistake because it fulfilled this role as well as being an umbrella body.

    However, a spokesperson for Navca said it was in discussion with the commission and hoped the issue would be resolved so that charities seeking capacity-building advice could easily find its members.

    Sam Younger, chief executive of the commission, said:

    These new pages demonstrate the wide range of existing support and help available to charities and I would encourage all trustees whose charities are not already members of an umbrella body to review the list and consider joining one.

    The new tool is available on their website - let us know what you think!

    Source: Third Sector


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