The Charity Commission has told charities that they will not have to include the amount of money they have spent on campaigning in their annual return, due to concerns about the administrative burden.
It comes after a consultation held this year on their proposal to include campaign spending figures in a charity’s annual return, which received a broadly negative reaction from the third sector.
However, while the Commission will not include the question for annual returns for financial years ending in 2015, it said that it would consider returning the measure for returns after 2016.
The Commission’s latest consultation on the contents of the annual return revealed that collecting and publishing information on charities’ campaigning activities would help to improve transparency and they have said that the move would “merit further consideration”.
“While recognising that there remains public interest in charity campaigning, the commission has taken account of the administrative burden that such an additional question would place on charities and so will not include a question in the 2016 annual return on campaigning expenditure,” a statement from the Commission said.
Instead, the only amendments to the annual return will be changes to the financial information required from charities with annual incomes of £500,000 or more because of changes to the Statement of Recommended Practice.
Sarah Atkinson, director of policy and communications at the Commission, said: “We have listened to the views expressed about the administrative burden charities would face in detailing what they spend on campaigning.
“We always aim to strike the right balance in the annual return between making it accountable to the public and ensuring it is manageable for charities, while still collecting important information for our regulatory work. We are working closely with users on the new format to make sure it is easy and intuitive for charities to use.”
She said a test version of the annual return that people would be able to give feedback on would be released early next year.