Erica Roberts OBE, has been appointed the first Chief Executive of GuideStar UK, the new charity building the first comprehensive charity-sector information system available to the public through a free web site service. Erica was formerly a director of the Millennium Commission, the Lottery distributor, which she helped set up in 1994. More recently, she set up the Commission's £200 million Millennium Awards Scheme for individuals creating innovative partnerships with some of the country's leading charities for the distribution of 35,000 grants throughout the UK. Erica also oversaw the creation of the first Lottery funded endowment with the second largest Lottery grant.
Erica said, "I believe GuideStar UK will be of immense value to the UK not for profit sector. I am very excited to be leading this venture.
GuideStar UK will be an important new resource - a "one-stop shop" for those wanting information on UK charities. Users will be able to track down charities by type of work, targeted beneficiaries, location or size. Donors will find it easier to identify charities serving their particular area of special interest. Charities will be able to demonstrate the public benefit they provide and better understand the work of their peer organisations. Smaller, community or niche organisations will have the opportunity to explain their work to a wider audience.
While there will be an opportunity for charities to input information about their activities and accomplishments directly on to the website, this will be voluntary. We will be careful not to place any additional burden on charities. Indeed one of our objectives is to help charities streamline their reporting to grantmakers and researchers. The primary source of information for the database will be provided by the Charity Commission."
"Erica brings a wide range of valuable experience and expertise to this role, and the Trustees are pleased to announce her appointment as Chief Executive," said Brian Smouha, Chairman of GuideStar UK. "She combines immense drive and energy with proven experience and a real ability to make things happen. I am sure she will be superb at leading the organisation through the next stages of its development. There is much hard work ahead but we now have a strong team in place to take forward this important and exciting project".