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non charity donations

Posted on 25 October 2004 at 1:10 pm

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Howard Lake 9 years, 6 months ago.

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  • Posted in: Law
  • Anonymous
    25 October 2004 at 1:10 pm #1858

    I don’t know if you are able to shed any light on this?

    I help run a website for a group of artists who collaborate on various projects. We are not a charity, infact we have no legal status as yet.

    In order to help maintain website costs, flyer printing etc we would like to put up a donations button on the site to enable viewers to help ease the costs.

    The site is strictly not for profit, the donations would simply be helping to fund the maintainance for the site. Any income would certainly be re-invested/spent and I can’t imagine it topping a few hundred pounds per year. No-one is taking a wage from it.

    We have a membership scheme and could limit people making donations to members only if that helps matters?

    Is this legal?
    Would we have to become a charity or Co-op or something?
    How does it work with the tax office?

    Any help would be really appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Anonymous
    25 October 2004 at 1:21 pm #6877

    There’s nothing stopping you soliciting donations via your site. Anyone can fundraise for anything (legal) and anyone. It’s only if you want to be able to enjoy tax benefits on those donations or want some kind of legal structure/responsibility that you have to start thinking about structuring your organisation.

    Most importantly, if you solicit donations/payments/contributions from your Web site, do not in any way claim that you are a charity.

    Otherwise, a link to a credit card payments provider such as Worldpay, or some of the other alternatives e.g. Amazon Honor system, Paypal etc, and you can start to generate income. As a non-charity, you won’t be able to use the charity-specific payments services of CTT.org, CAF (efundraising.org), Justgiving.com or Bmycharity.com.

    Make sure that you are completely transparent about the income and expenditure that arises for your group. Perhaps a separate bank account might be best, rather than transferring any income to your own personal account.

    You can set up your group in a number of ways, but most of them require some legal/financial reporting responsibility that your group might not wish to submit to. For info on becoming a charity visit

    http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk

    Talk to your Business Link for advice on setting up and structuring an organisation.

    Also, have a look at my reply to a similar question about generating income for a Web-based organisation at

    http://www.fundraising.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=1954

    for some other tips about how to do it.

    And don’t forget to explore UK Fundraising itself: I’ve run this site for nearly 10 years and haven’t charged for access, yet it generates a profit. How? I run training and consultancy in that – but just look at what we try and what we carry on with e.g. Google AdSense and test it on your site.

    I’m no solicitor so, as usual, the above should not be construed as legal advice.

    Good luck.

    Anonymous
    25 October 2004 at 1:24 pm #6878

    Thanks for that, It is a real help.

    If we come up with any interesting findings / laws I will be sure to post them up here for others benefits.

    Cheers

    Bristly

    Anonymous
    26 October 2004 at 2:41 pm #6879

    The other route is to get another charity, with charitable purposes that are akin to what you are aiming to achieve, to adopt you as a project – get people to donate to them, but with the donation earmarked for you. That way you get the best of both worlds!

    David

    Anonymous
    1 March 2010 at 6:50 pm #11166

    Hi

    Realising I’m entering this thread very very late – and probably too late – in its life, still I’m keen to find out if you’d know of any recent legislation in this field which will have made your propsal obsolete? I’ve just started researching into the possibilities of our company (ltd by guarantee) fund raising for a feature documentary via a website. It’s awfully popular, but possibly also the way to go about it. Whatever the original poster wrote applies to us: All possible dondations will be spent on the film, will be not-for-profit and will be registered as income for tax purposes.

    Thanks in advance.

    Very best
    Marie

    1 March 2010 at 7:08 pm #11167

    No, the situation is still the same. You can raise funds for a film online. Indeed, you now probably stand a better chance of doing so, given the success of some ‘crowdfunded’ films. Search online to find examples of those, such as Franny Armstrong’s ‘The Age of Stupid’:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/feb/28/franny-armstrong-film

    http://www.gcglaw.com/resources/entertainment/crowdfunding.html

    There’s been a lot of activity in this area e.g. fans funding new or small bands to make another recording or to tour.

    Good luck.

    1 March 2010 at 7:08 pm #11168

    No, the situation is still the same. You can raise funds for a film online. Indeed, you now probably stand a better chance of doing so, given the success of some ‘crowdfunded’ films. Search online to find examples of those, such as Franny Armstrong’s ‘The Age of Stupid’:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/feb/28/franny-armstrong-film

    http://www.gcglaw.com/resources/entertainment/crowdfunding.html

    There’s been a lot of activity in this area e.g. fans funding new or small bands to make another recording or to tour.

    Good luck.

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