ICAS call for research on charity impact reporting
ICAS has an open call for research on impact reporting by charities within their trustees’ annual report.
The call for research on impact reporting by charities is seeking to understand charities’ experience of developing impact reporting measures and to evaluate what difference impact reporting makes to a charity’s stakeholders.
The research is to be conducted in two phases with funding of up to £20,000 available to the successful team.
Proposals are invited from academic and other researchers by 5pm on Friday 16 April 2021.
Financial reporting is the domain of standard setters both national and international, with the requirements for accompanying non-financial reports normally driven by jurisdiction and sector specific law and regulation.
For charities, non-financial reporting requirements have formed part of the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice for many years, in effect falling within the sphere of a ‘standard setter’, the Charities SORP-making body.
Without the ability to demonstrate their achievements to sector stakeholders through reporting earnings per share, the trustees’ annual report requirements within the Charities SORP direct charities to do so in narrative form.
Coming right up to date, non-financial reporting by the corporate sector is also a significant focus of the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC).
Indeed in October 2020, the FRC launched as discussion paper A matter of principles: the future of corporate reporting. The paper’s foreword stated:
“We believe that accountability is a key concept for corporate reporting but one that is rapidly changing. We believe that demand has shifted from just thinking about a company’s financial performance and position, to value creation and the wider impact of the activity of a company on society and the environment.”
Therefore, as stakeholder views and expectations about non-financial reporting by the commercial entities evolve to reflect today’s priorities and future concerns, charities also need to innovate and develop new ways of demonstrating the difference they make.’’
Call for Research
At the end of January, mindful of stakeholder demand for good quality non-financial information we issued a call for research on impact reporting by charities with their trustees’ annual report, aiming to:
- Contribute to the evolution of current practices and facilitate the preparation of practical guidance for UK charities of all sizes on how to develop impact measures and impact reporting.
- Provide evidence and recommendations to the Charities SORP Committee on how to develop impact reporting requirements in the new edition of the Charities SORP expected to be in place for reporting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2024.
ICAS has already secured a number of UK-based charities committed to participating in this research project, and convened a multi-disciplinary steering group with charity sector and research expertise that will support the successful research team throughout the duration of the project.
If you are interested in this project, please note that the closing date for applications is on Friday 16 April 2021. Full details for the project and the application process area available here at icas.com. You can also contact us on email@example.com for more information.