Charities with more data “find it easier to unlock government money”, Baroness Barran, the minister for civil society said at the NPC Ignites conference.
She said that government and charities both have a “moral responsibility” to collect and share data as part of spending public funds.
Baroness Barran was asked by one attendee at the conference, “Why should charities share data about their finances when government shares almost no information?”
The minister’s answer was that she had argued for Whitehall to become better at sharing information on its grants, including using the 360Giving database.
She said: “At the most extreme end if you want some money from the government then there is some transparency which is important.
“But I think, more widely, we all have a moral responsibility to try and help ensure that money goes to the places which need it and where the highest impact will be.
“And without greater transparency, it is really quite hard to know that, so it would be nice to have some objective information to help inform those choices.”
She added that the parts of the charity sector which have more data “find it easier to unlock government money”.
Introducing the conference, NPC chief executive, Dan Corry said that the government continues to struggle to understand the role charities play in society.
Corry warned that charities will need to plan for the impacts of the pandemic long into the future, “The new normal is really the perilous present. A long-lasting crisis in which disaster is never far away.”
Key to charities managing data and transparency in their reporting are the systems they rely on to plan and run all aspects of their mission delivery; from fundraising, grant application and management, operational delivery via employees and volunteers. Often multiple databases and systems are used to manage these complex issues.
Data management, transparency, and reporting agility are greatly improved when using a single database such as NetSuite.
As a cloud-based platform NetSuite, currently used by over 2,000 charities globally, is well placed to help support charities as they develop long term strategy for recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cloud Doing Good is running a series of webinars specifically for finance and senior management teams working in charities and not for profit organisations, you can view the on-demand webinar How to implement an agile charity finance system by clicking here.