When Governments dispense sums of money that are intended for the benefit of the public they are often incapable of getting the details right. A classic case being the way in which Chris Grayling handled the ferry crisis by commissioning a company that had nowhere near the capacity that was needed. Another case appeared on Saturday Morning at the Home Office when a charity called Impetus was announced as the agency to help the Government organise and dispense a £200m endowment fund. This children and young people now article appeared yesterday to provide a bit more information from outside the Government. It is clear from the statement about the charity published on the charity commission website that the task should in principle be a good fit: “Impetus transforms the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in school, in work and in life. We find, fund and build the most promising charities working with these young people, providing core funding and working shoulder-to-shoulder with their leaders to help them become stronger organisations.”
However when the financial statement is considered the impact of £200m begins to raise all sorts of concerns. The following is a few of the sums displayed on the charity commission website which relate to their accounts which run to the end of 2017
Income £7.86m Expenditure £9.8m (this is not the concern)
Assets – Long term investments £182k; Other assets £7.8m
So a foundation that currently has £182k in long term investments and £7.8m as other assets which could be buildings etc is now to be handed £200m by the Government. Of course they could be well capable of such a major shift, but there are numerous community foundations across the nation which have much stronger capacity for sums like this. This announcement and action raises all sorts of concerns about why a charity of any size is being handed 20 times of its usual capacity by the Government. This is a very poor fit and the Government should be challenged to avoid damaging a charity so badly and treating the charitable sector in the same way as Chris Grayling has impacted the SME business sector by pouring all sorts of problems down onto a small business with a promise of a major high profile contract that it was clearly incapable of delivering on.