Grade becomes charity enforcer but critics fume

Lord gradeThe Government has raised more than a few eyebrows by appointing Lord Grade, the former chief executive of Channel 4, as interim chair of the new, as yet unnamed, fundraising regulator, sparking accusations of “jobs for the boys”.
The announcement, made this morning by the Cabinet Office, said that Michael Grade, Conservative peer and the Baron Grade of Yarmouth, will be responsible for “overseeing the setup” of the new fundraising body as recommended by Sir Stuart Etherington’s Regulating Fundraising for the Future report.
According to the statement, the role will see Grade “lead the new body and system” and “work quickly to appoint a board and chief executive, and start working with charities to build the tough new self-regulatory system”.
The statement also said that Grade has been appointed for a 12-month period, with the possibility of reappointment. The role of interim chair is for four days per month and will be remunerated at £500 per day.
Lord Grade, 72, has had a long career in TV, including as chair of the BBC board of governors, chair and chief executive of ITV and spent nine years as chief executive of Channel 4.
He has also acted as chair of the National Lottery operator Camelot and Ocado and is currently a Science Museum trustee.
Etherington said of Grade’s appointment: “Lord Grade is a substantial figure with the experience to drive through the changes that must be made. He is a highly experienced chair and he has a clear commitment to public service along with a strong understanding of marketing, not least from his seven years as chairman of Ocado.
“I have every confidence that under his leadership the new fundraising regulator will become the body it needs to be in order to secure public trust.”
But one fundraising agency boss was not quite so gushing. He said: “What is this? Jobs for the boys? I’m sure Michael Grade is a big hitter but is he really the right person to lead the charity sector out of this mess? I doubt it…We needed someone with extensive experience of the intricacies of the charity market, not a TV luvvie.”

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