Better information for all charity trustees in order to drive better decision making

"With great power comes great responsibility."

This advice given to a young Peter Parker by his uncle is a pithy summary of a charity trustee’s lot: like Spider-Man, charity boards are there to make a positive difference.

And to exercise their power responsibly trustees need the best possible information about their charity.

In giving charities the understanding and tools they need to succeed the Charity Commission is enlisting technology and data to be a best in class regulator and has just begun to roll out a trustee portal account for all 700,000 trustees in England and Wales that should, in the words of the Commission’s chair “revolutionise the trustee experience, especially in tailoring regulatory guidance on all matters to the individual – think of it over time as the trustee’s personalised online Bible.”

While trustees are equally responsible for the running of their charity and should act collectively when doing so, in practice this isn’t always the case. The Commission’s own research suggests that trustees are twice as reliant on colleagues or other trustees and the internet as they are on the commission for guidance, and that trustees using its guidance are more likely to correctly understand their duties, (hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were).

This is why from next spring all trustees will be able to access their own Charity Commission account which will provide a personalised and direct channel of communication and information with the regulator.

From this month onwards the primary contacts of charities are being contacted to set up administration accounts (with the possibility of multiple accounts being established) to ensure all charities’ details can be kept up to date on the register of charities, the “shop window” through which everyone can gaze in deciding whether those organisations appear to be well run and worthy of continued support.

For now, all trustees should ensure that their email address which the commission has on record is correct and then await hearing from their charity’s primary administrator (the charity contact) in the new year with a link to enable them to set up their own commission account, which will grant them access to all the online services for their charity and allow them to update and maintain their own personal details.

 Setting up ‘My Charity Commission Account’ - GOV.UK (


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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