Public benefit is at the heart of what charities do. Public benefit reporting is the mechanism for telling readers of accounts that the charity is being true to its own purpose and explaining how they are making a difference, and hence meeting public accountability responsibilities.
The Charity Commission, in the December 2018 Monitoring Review, reported “…It is disappointing that all too many charities do not explain the activities they undertake to improve the lives of their beneficiaries and make a difference …”
However, where Trustee’s had included more than a mere cursory standard statement, the public benefit statement included “…evidence of reflection of the difference charity’s activities had made.”
Example of approaches taken included:
- Expanding the public benefit statement to explain why the trustees believed that the charity’s activities provided public benefit
- Explaining who had benefitted from what the charity had done, whether a particular group of beneficiaries or the wider public
- Explaining the impact of what the charity had done, such as examples of how the charity’s services had led to improvements in people’s lives
Guidance can be found here