Letter to the FT from Jeremy Mayhew - Charities need backing to be fit for purpose

Dear Editor,

I welcome William Shawcross's article (FT, 24 August, 2015), in which he rightly highlights how essential charities are to our well-being. He salutes volunteer trustees, whilst emphasising the need for both these trustees and the charities' executives to have the appropriate skills.

The City Bridge Trust (CBT), the City of London Corporation's charitable funder, funds - at any one time - over 500 charities, providing both core and project funding. We work with many exemplary organisations; more, however, clearly needs to be done to enable charities to meet today's complex challenges.

One of our main strategic objectives is, therefore, to support organisations to develop their skills beyond the delivery of their services - including financial, governance, and impact evaluation skills. This year – our 20th anniversary - we have committed to increase our funding to support work to strengthen further the voluntary sector. We are also committed to work harder with others (such as London Funders and Heart of the City) in helping the transfer of skills between the voluntary, private, and public sectors.

By making the most of their resources, not only will charities thrive, but they will be able to contribute even more effectively to the 'good society'.

Jeremy Mayhew

Chairman, City Bridge Trust