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Revised Public Benefit guidance issued by Charity Commission

  • Charity Commission Image

16 Sep 2013

The Charity Commission has today published revised public benefit guidance for all charities. The new guidance completely replaces the Commission’s previous general public benefit guidance ‘Charities and Public Benefit’ and supplementary public benefit guidance on ‘Public Benefit and Fee-charging’.

The guidance, which is available in both online and offline formats, is split into three high-level guides: 

  • Public Benefit: the public benefit requirement.  This guide explains that in order for an organisation to be recognised as a charity its purposes must be for the public benefit, known as the “public benefit requirement”.  The guide explains what “for the public benefit means” and then provides guidance on terms such as “beneficial” to the public.  The Charities Act requires that trustees must “have regard” to the public benefit guidance “when exercising any powers or duties to which the guidance is relevant”.  The guide is relevant for those thinking of setting up a charity or trustees who are thinking of changing their charity’s purpose. 
  • Public Benefit: running a charity.  This guide explains the duties of trustees when running their charity in order to carry out their charity’s purposes for the public benefit.  The guide is relevant to charity trustees when running their charity and also those thinking of setting up a charity.  
  • Public Benefit: reporting.  This guide explains the reporting requirements on trustees in the annual accounts of their charities.  It explains the requirements (set out in the Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008) on trustees to report each year in their Trustees’ Annual Report on how they have carried out their charity’s purposes for the public benefit.  The guide explains the reporting requirements of both smaller and larger charities and explains how the trustees may discharge their responsibilities in the Trustees’ Annual Report.  The guide is relevant for trustees of a registered charity and also those thinking of setting up a charity.

Click here for the press release on the Charity Commission website with links to all of the guidance.

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