Charities fulfil a really useful role in one way or another providing help where for one reason or another the public sector is not involved. Perhaps the best example of this is the Royal National Life Boat Institution RNLI which is a charity completely funded without government help and providing an essential lifeline.

We can provide large and small charities with expert advice on everything from day-to-day operation to the sale or acquisition of assets.

You may be thinking of setting up a charity because there is something you feel passionately about and you want to do something either alone or with others and we can advise on this.

The best way to raise funds is as a registered charity but you need income or assets for this or a strong expectation. Crucially you also have to have a charitable purpose which is in essence value to the community which could be education, religion or relief of poverty. What charity does not cover however is fund raising for a particular person perhaps a child who needs an operation or someone who has been disabled. A charity cannot be set up for one person or usually one project and again we can advise on that and how to go forward.

The Charity Commission always have an input on any proposed new charity and they will want to know that there is not something similar in the locality which could not do the job as well. They will also need to be sure (and there is a procedure for this) that the persons who are going to look after and run the charity and raise any money are entirely capable of doing this.

You may alternatively be involved with an existing organisation which is thinking about becoming a charity. Charities can be exempt from business rates and income tax and stamp duty so can operate with lower overheads. The financial advantages are attractive but have to be weighed against the regulations both in terms of reporting and accounting and charity rules and regulations that have to be followed all of which need to be considered with our advice.

It is also important to bear in mind that once a charity has been set up all the assets of that charity are charitable and if the charity is wound up and you may be in a position where that is relevant the assets must be passed to another charity never to the individual members for distribution.

Please contact us to discuss how we can help.


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