The Hallmarks of an Effective Charity

The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales and they have created 'a straightforward framework of good practice which includes the relevant regulatory requirements'.

As well as clearly identifying the legal requirements, the Charity Commission describe this guide as 'basic good practice principles, or Hallmarks'.

The Hallmarks at a glance

Hallmark 1: Clear about its purposes and direction

  • An effective charity is clear about its purposes, mission and values and uses them to direct all aspects of its work.

Hallmark 2: A strong board

  • An effective charity is run by a clearly identifiable board or trustee body that has the right balance of skills and experience, acts in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries, understands its responsibilities and has systems in place to exercise them properly.

Hallmark 3: Fit for purpose

  • The structure, policies and procedures of an effective charity enable it to achieve its purposes and mission and deliver its services efficiently.

Hallmark 4: Learning and improving

  • An effective charity is always seeking to improve its performance and efficiency, and to learn new and better ways of delivering its purposes. A charity's assessment of its performance, and of the impact and outcomes of its work, will feed into its planning processes and will influence its future direction.

Hallmark 5: Financially sound and prudent

  • An effective charity has the financial and other resources needed to deliver its purposes and mission, and controls and uses them so as to achieve its potential.

Hallmark 6: Accountable and transparent

  • An effective charity is accountable to the public and others with an interest in the charity (stakeholders) in a way that is transparent and understandable.

The full guide can be viewed on the Charity Commissions website but you can also download it as a pdf below.