This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 9 years, 2 months ago.
I am looking into the options for an organisation which collects money from various fund-raising activities (including through commercial participator relationships with trading companies) and pays out donations/grants from those funds to other UK charities (all registered). I am intending that my organisation should be registered as a charity in order that it is seen to be reputable and to ensure that the commercial participators’ donations are tax-deductible.
I have however heard that my intended operation does not constitute a ‘charitable purpose’ as the organisation would not ‘do’ anything directly, it would simply make payments to other charities.
This seems quite strange – is this true? I have been unable to find any supporting authority for this…
I also have a question about the commercial participators – they will be selling products on the basis that part of the proceeds will go (through my organisation) to various worthy causes. Do the ‘solicitation statement’ requirements of the Charities Act still apply even if there is not going to be a specific NAMED charity in the promotional literature?
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
Yes, fundraising for charity or otherwise helping and supporting a charity is not a charitable objective in law.
The Charity Commission sets out the 13 charitable purposes at:
Re commercial participators, my initial thought is that you should make the process as transparent as possible to would-be customers/supporters. You’ll find lots more information and advice from the Institute of Fundraising at
Interestingly I was at a seminar at FOOTSEY (Social Enterprise Yorkshire) yesterday and the guy giving it had tried to set up a charity to do exactly that – and had not been able to. I think he has set up a trading company – along the lines of a Co Ltd by Guarantee which can do that – ie it trades and in line with its memorandum & articles the profits go to to nominated charities (or charities have to apply).
I would investigate this route if I were you.
Collections have to be for a specific charity.
The charity has to have a pre-determined purpose.
Too much scope for defrauding the public otherwise.
Many charitable trusts give grants to other charities – I think it may just be a question of being explicit in your aims for the charity when you set up. I suggest you take a look at the Charity Commission’s website http://www.charitycommision.gov.uk and look under the ‘Charity Framework,’ link for some trusts.
You’ll see that they all list their charitable objectives. I know that some of them don’t actually ‘do,’ anything other than give grants, but this might be me misinterpretting their activities.
Good luck and if you’re looking to give money to a worthy cause, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a fundraiser if I didn’t suggest the charity I work for! 🙂 If you’re interested in finding out about our work, please do email me at email@example.com.
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