Improving Accountability, Clarity and Transparency
The Transparency Manifesto
The Transparency Manifesto is the ImpACT Coalition’s statement of what an accountable and transparent organisation looks like. We believe that the manifesto sets out principles that all third sector organisations should meet, or be working toward.
- Our organisation demonstrates the change it is trying to bring about, how it works to bring about that change, and the progress it has made so far;
- Our communications are transparent, accurate and written so that they can be understood by their intended audiences.
- Our leadership champions a commitment to accountability and transparency;
- Our organisational structure, including trustees, is easily accessible to the public, and we list key responsibilities for senior staff members;
- Our trustee report and annual accounts are prepared to statutory requirements and submitted on time;
- Relevant information (e.g. annual report, accounts, impact report) is easily accessible ideally no more than 3 keystrokes from our website’s homepage;
- Our organisation monitors and evaluates what it does, and shares its learning.
- Our organisation provides mechanisms for stakeholders to help shape what it delivers;
- Our organisation publishes an easily accessible suggestions and complaints procedure for beneficiaries and supporters.
To down load a pdf version ofthe Transparency Manifesto, please click here.
What’s the problem?
Charities are trusted by the public, who often understand charities' goals but can have a weak understanding of how charities achieve them. The gap in understanding could lead to charities disappointing their supporters and thus reducing the income and voluntary resources entrusted to charities. To build understanding, charities need to be transparent and accountable, and demonstrate their impact in a effective way. This will help maintain the public's trust in charities and secure the support now and in the future.
Why should my organisation improve accountability and transparency?
Being accountable and transparent means being able to explain what your organisation does, why it does it, how it does it, and most importantly, what long term benefits it has created. Put another way, what impact has it made? If you communicate all this effectively you can:
· Generate greater trust and confidence among your stakeholders;
· increase understanding of what your organisation does and how it improves people’s lives and communities;
· drive performance;
· motivate staff.
Last but not least, prioritising accountability and transparency allows you to drive the delivery of your own messages constructively, rather than just reacting to critics or commentators. It is for these reasons that the ImpACT Coalition believes that improving accountability and transparency should be a priority for every third sector leader.
How can the Transparency Manifesto help my organisation?
By joining the ImpACT Coalition you are pledging your organisation’s support for the Transparency Manifesto. You can use the Transparency Manifesto:
· To demonstrate a commitment to improving accountability and transparency to your stakeholders;
· as a template for your organisation’s accountability and transparency policy;
· as a benchmark by which to measure your organisation’s accountability and transparency;
· as a lever to drive improvements within your organisation.
To download a pdf version of the Transparency Manifesto, please click here.