How to set up a charity in England?

How to set up a charity in England?

Even with the growing economic instability within the UK at present, businesses of all sizes find business sense in setting charities and foundations. The business case for encasing social responsibility into the organisational structure is clear: on the one hand it allows to engage staff and customers and on the other hand it helps raise company’s profile. Isn’t it good for business?

However, setting up a charity is not without its pitfalls, as it is simply not enough to have a charitable idea.

As a rule, not everything that benefits the community would be considered charitable. In order to set up a charity in England you must have what is technically called a “charitable purpose”, also known as specific aim.

To set up a charity in England the following requirements must be met:

  1. Each of the purposes of the organisation must be for the public benefit.
  2. The charity must have a board of trustees, who have sufficient skills to be able to operate a charity, including having an understanding of legal requirements associated with the operation of the charity. Trustees by law must act independently of the organisation that appointed them.
  3. Once the trustees have been appointed, charity can be incorporated as one of those structures: charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), a charitable company or an unincorporated association or trust.

All organisations meeting either of the criteria below must also be registered with the Charity Commission:

  • its income will be at least £5,000 per year
  • it’s a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)

The procedure for setting up a charity as set out above is only relevant to England and Wales, as Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own laws regarding this.
In the event where one does not want to meet the procedures as set out above, the alternative is to organise a Community Interest Company (CIC). CIC is a hybrid between a regular company and a charity where it is set up for the benefit of a society and engages in those actions but it has not received a charitable status. Alternatively, if the idea is to raise monies for a certain cause then it may be worth setting up a charitable fund or a charitable foundation.

Oracle Capital Group believes that only through active involvement in the lives of others can a person enrich their own life. Close relationships with our Foundation partners ensures the funds are distributed over a wider net of interests, and we are all able to share experiences, expertise and collective ambitions in achieving the best results. Our donors share our values and passions in promoting positive social development and in giving a helping hand to real talent.

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