A first-of-its-kind rating tool for charities called Asian Charity Clarity (ACC) has just launched in London. ACC has two objectives: empowering donors with the right information to help them make a difference; and supporting charities highlight their good work and supporting them to help them succeed.
ACC provides this by assessing charities across 18 metrics, in the categories of Financial Health, Accountability and Transparency, and Accessibility. This analysis is performed through substantial public and other information.
Charity specialist Pratik Dattani said: "Nothing like ACC exists in the UK. We recognise that donor behaviours are changing. Younger people do not follow the donor patterns of their parents and are looking for credible third-party information about what charities are best. ACC offers a way for them to do so."
The idea has been a year in development with both Dattani and Subhash Thakrar, Partner, CBW Blackstone Franks LLP and Vice President, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Thakrar said: "ACC seeks to support charities and highlight good causes by giving donors access to independent and objective information about their performance. We're delighted we've had such a good response from charities already."
ACC seeks to help answer questions such as the following for donors: How do you know you are giving to the most effective charities? That you are rewarding the best charities with the biggest accomplishments?
ACC seeks to ask charities questions such as: Does the charity submit accounts on time? How good is the working capital position? What are its assets? Does it receive both donations and trading income? Is there clarity over the trusteeship appointment and process? To what extent are women involved in the decision-making? Is it easy to get in touch with the management team? Do they report on the positive impact they create?
The team first conducted a survey of young people within the Asian community to ask about charities' financial health, governance and related matters. The survey found that young people has questions around transparency and governance of organisations. ACC's analysis is informed by the outputs of this survey.
The Advisory Group for ACC guides the team and provides oversight. It includes: Subhash Thakrar, CB Patel (Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar), Nat Puri (Chairman, Purico), Alpesh Patel (Founder, Praefinium Partners), Shaks Ghosh (former CEO, Private Equity Foundation), and Dr Gautam Bodiwalla CBE (Pro Chancellor, De Montfort University).
The ACC team spent several months collating information on a pilot group of 42 charities, who were sent draft results for review. ACC's ratings and analyses are also informed by the feedback received here. The methodology for the ratings is shared publicly on the website.
At the launch, ACC now has over 100 rated charities. The team has been overwhelmed by the positive feedback received from charities wanting to be rated. The team hopes to add many more charities through the year.
Many charities, including Pratham UK, display their rating on their website. Tanya Braun, Marketing and PR coordinator for Pratham UK said: "Asian Charity Clarity is a fantastic initiative and we're incredibly pleased to have received such a high rating from the scheme! It's lovely to see the work we do for improving education quality in India recognised in this way."
Leah Pattinson spent 12 years working with leprosy victims in India and now runs the charity Women In Need. She said "Working with ACC, we've understood how we compare to other, larger charities in the sector, and where we can improve. This will greatly enhance our aspirations in tackling the root causes of women's issues, especially in India."
Furthermore, she says: "Having an independent assessment of charities is important for the growth of the sector and to support charities which generate high social impact to continue to do so."
ACC is a first-of-its-kind initiative. It is about empowering donors and supporting charities. Find out more via