As Acting Director of OIC, Sir Stephen’s focus is on building a solid foundation for the Institute from which it can thrive and prosper into the future, and especially in creating a sound financial base.


Sir Stephen is also founder-director of Charity Futures, which launched in July 2016. He was formerly Chief Executive of ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) until 2016. In this role he was highly influential in determining government policy on the third sector, particularly for its part delivering public services.

“This is a wonderful legacy project for me but more importantly it will be a major contribution to the sector I love and have worked in for some three decades.”

For 10 years he also chaired the Social Investment Business, the UK’s largest social investor, and is a trustee of Helen and Douglas House Hospice, the world’s first children’s hospice.

Stephen’s recent national roles have included reporting on choice and competition in the NHS for the Prime Minister in 2011, and writing a major report for the UK government in 2014, ‘Winterbourne View – time for action’, which called for radical reform in the way we care for people with learning disabilities in the twenty-first century.

He has been in national roles at TGWU, NUT and AMA, and was the Founding Personnel Director of the National Lottery Charities Board. He was a Councillor in Lambeth and an active member of the health authorities for Guys and St Thomas’ hospitals over two decades. He is also a public appointments assessor.

Perhaps it is time to take a radical step in reforming our charity governance systems. The current ‘one size fits all’ model is increasingly out of step with the many challenges we face

The Charity Commission is looking less fit for purpose and unable to effectively tackle both regulation and support. And the sector itself needs to understand what it can do to become more transparent and better led. 


At Charity Futures we want to support that voice for the sector by arguing for better infrastructure and promoting more effective research that will underpin sustainable charities. We have been busy exploring the establishment of an Oxford Institute of Charity, whose mission would be both promoting good charity and researching what helps us to survive and grow.

“Charity Futures was established to look at the long-term future health of the charitable sector in the UK. We were clear from the start that find a home at a truly excellent academic institution was essential if the mission of providing original and useful research was to be met.”


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/ Sir Stephen Bubb