Thursday, 27 September 2012

Our consultation is now closed

Thank you to everyone who posted comments on our consultation blog and submitted formal responses to us.

We are now analysing those comments and responses. We are aiming to publish our revised guidance end 2012 or early 2013.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Would trustees find it helpful if some or all of our guidance, or a summary of it, were available in pdf format?

Our new guidance has been designed specifically to be read online and so there is not currently a text-only pdf version of it available. However, our Public Benefit Team can email on request a text-only Word version of all the material that constitutes our draft public benefit guidance.

We have presented the guidance in its new online format so that it can be read in conjunction with all the other supporting material we have produced (such as the new FAQs for trustees and summary document, the new material we have prepared which sits outside of the guidance but informs it - such as the guidance on political purposes and trustee decision making) and to show how it links to other guidance on our website, such as our Equality Act guidance. That package of guidance is difficult to reproduce as one linear document.

Our new public benefit guidance is not designed to be read in a linear way, but rather to enable trustees to read (and print off if necessary) only those sections that are relevant for their charity.

However, we have produced a summary document which summarises all the key points in the guidance. This can be printed off as one document.

One of the main reasons we opted to present our public benefit guidance in this new 'modular' online format was to respond to criticisms from trustees and sector commentators that our existing guidance (which is contained in a single document) is too long and off-putting for busy trustees to read and that not all of the guidance contained in it is relevant for every charity's circumstances.

Trustees only have a duty to have regard to our public benefit guidance where it is relevant, and so our aim is to present our guidance in a way which more easily enables trustees to select, and have regard to, only the guidance which is relevant for them.

However, we welcome views on whether trustees would find it helpful if we provided the option to view, or download, pdf versions of:

* the whole of our public benefit guidance
* each section of our public benefit guidance
* the summary document

How can we improve navigation around our new guidance?

We are very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to view our new guidance and to provide feedback on it.

We have received comments from some who would like us to make it clearer what our new guidance consists of and to improve navigation around it.

We are currently considering ways in which we could aid navigation around our guidance.

For example, you can find a full list of the contents of our new guidance, and links to each section, in 'Public benefit: finding your way around'

Would readers find it helpful if we were to make this section more prominent for example by:

* including a link to that section at the start of 'Public benefit: guidance for charity trustees' (instead of its current position further down that page)
* including a link from the left-hand menu that appears for each section
* including a link from the end of each page of our guidance
* renaming it 'Full list of contents' or something similar?

We could make it clearer where a link included within the text is about to take the reader away from our public benefit guidance to a different part of our website - perhaps by including a suitable symbol next to the link.

We could also include instructions on how to use our guidance before we begin to explain about what the public benefit requirement means.

We would welcome views on these suggestions and other ways in which navigation could be improved.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

What do you think of the approach we have taken with our revised guidance?

Let us know your views on:
  • whether you find the guidance helpful, easy to follow and understand
  • whether the guidance is sufficient for trustees to make decisions on public benefit
  • what you would add or omit
  • where you think we could make improvements
  • your overall experience of using the guidance