Charities have to appreciate that they are fair game for the media and that this type of story will continue.  Reputations are critical and unless charities, of all sizes, put steps in place to protect them then this type of media attention will continue to prove damaging.

Charities need to apply the 'tabloid test' to all aspects of their operations.  What would their response be if the media came along and asked them to explain their actions - spending, finances, executive pay etc.?

Even though most of the information contained in these type of investigations is already publically available, this does not lessen the impact of the story.  Taken as a whole, the sector can look like it has a case to answer.  Then added to the overall narrative, individual charities are 'named and shamed' to help justify the story.

And charities should be under no illusion, the media will continue to attack them.  Then the politicians will pass comment.  Government will feel compelled to get involved as will Parliament.  This then feeds a fresh round of media activity.

For the charity, a damaged reputation can have a range of implications from issues with fundraising through to problems attracting staff, an inability to attract corporate supporters or even regulatory intervention.

Charities need to ask themselves the difficult questions and be ready if the media, or the regulator, comes calling.