purposes - The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland

Report
Charity registration
workshop
Charity Commission
for Northern Ireland
Workshop objectives
By the end of this workshop you will have a clearer understanding of
the following:
• Answering key elements of your charity registration application
– How to assess your organisation’s purposes
– How to draft a public benefit statement
• Navigating the online registration process
Workshop schedule
Introduction to Charity registration
10 mins
Assessing charitable purposes
25 mins
Purposes and Public benefit toolkit
35 mins
Break
10 mins
Online registration system
30 mins
Questions
10 mins
Introduction to charity
registration
Key terms
Charity trustee: The people who are legally responsible for the control and
management of the administration of the charity. They may be called
trustees, governors, directors, committee members or some other title.
Governing document: This is any document that sets out the charity’s purposes
and how it is to be administered. It may be a trust deed, constitution,
memorandum and articles of association, a Royal Charter or some other
formal document.
Control and direction: Those who have control and direction of an organisation
are the people who are ultimately responsible for its management and
governance – the trustees.
Background: charity registration
in Northern Ireland
• All organisations that are or could be charitable must apply to
register
• No exceptions or exemptions
• Charity trustees responsible for ensuring organisation registers
and adheres to charity law
• Differs from registration with HMRC for tax status
• Organisations will be called forward in tranches drawn from
three lists
– Deemed list: random sample
– Non-deemed list: in date order
– Special circumstances: priority and grouped registration
What is a charity?
Established for exclusively charitable purposes:
each purpose must fit within one or more of
12 descriptions of purpose and be for the
public benefit
Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, as amended
What are the 12 charitable purposes?
Relief of
those in need
Animal
welfare
Education
Citizenship,
Community
development
Environmental
protection or
improvement
Any other
charitable
purpose
Arts, culture, heritage, science
Relief of
poverty
Health, Religion
saving
lives
Amateur
Human rights, conflict resolution,
reconciliation, promotion religious
racial harmony, equality, diversity
sport
Supporting guidance
What is the public benefit requirement?
Benefit: this is the way in which an organisation’s purposes are beneficial and
the extent to which they are beneficial.
The benefit must:
The nature of the public benefit and the
way it may be demonstrated will be
• flow from the charity’s purposes
different for each purpose and for each
• be capable of being demonstrated
organisation.
• be beneficial, not harmful.
Public: the organisation must know who the intended beneficiaries are and
how they might benefit.
The benefit which flows from the charity’s purposes must:
• be to the public or to a section of the public
• not provide a private benefit to individuals unless this benefit is incidental.
Public benefit requirement
and purposes: Toolkit
• Rationale for the toolkit
–
–
–
–
identify or review the purposes of their organisation
ensure the charity’s purposes adequately express what the organisation was set up to achieve
identify or review the public benefit flowing from each of its charitable purposes
complete the response to the public benefit section of the online charity registration form
• Three sections
– Reviewing organisation’s purposes
– Completing the public benefit statement
– Example purposes and completed public benefit statement
• The public benefit statement must be completed for each purpose.
Toolkit: purposes
Identifying or reviewing your organisation’s purposes
– What are charitable purposes
• Fall within one of the descriptions in the Charities Act and
• Are for the public benefit
–
–
–
–
Why they are important
What / who / where
Distinct from powers
Can not be illegal or political
Toolkit: purposes
Purposes checklist
Question
Help note
Is it clear from your
purpose what your
organisation is set up to
achieve?
Each purpose must be described clearly and unambiguously, using words with a
commonly accepted meaning so that it is clear to your trustees, beneficiaries
and members of the general public. You may wish to ask a critical friend to
read your purposes and answer this question.
Is this purpose exclusively
charitable?
Each purpose must fit within at least one of the 12 descriptions of charitable
purposes in the Charities Act and be for the public benefit.
Is this a purpose rather
than a power?
Have you reviewed this
purpose against the ‘top
tips’?
It is important that the purposes of the charity are not confused with its powers,
as powers are not charitable in themselves. Powers set out how you can go
about achieving your purposes.
Particular words and phrases may appear to be there to aid the fluency of the
document but these can be the words and phrases that create difficulties for
organisations. Refer to ‘top tips’ which begin on page 10.
Is it clear from your
purposes who the intended
beneficiaries are?
If your organisation is set up to benefit a particular section of the public rather
than the public as a whole, we suggest you make it clear in the purpose. This is
best practice, and not a legal requirement. For example your purpose may
specify that you are providing benefits for school children or people with a
particular illness.
Is it clear from your
purpose what the area of
benefit is?
If the benefits of the organisation are to be defined by a particular geographical
area, we suggest that this is made clear in the purpose. This is best practice,
and not a legal requirement. Your area of benefit may range from the global
population to a particular district or village.
Yes
No
Practical exercise 1
Charitable purposes
Practical exercise part one
To advance education through a weekly club for children of pre-school age in
the Belfast area in order to facilitate a successful transition into primary
school learning.
Purpose 1: charitable, clear who, what and where
To advance education
Purpose 2: vague, description of purpose, would need more information, may or
may not be charitable.
Practical exercise part one continued
The purpose of the organisation is to campaign to change the law to abolish
the sale and purchase of alcohol in order to advance health
Purpose 3: not a charitable purpose as it is a political purpose.
The purposes of the charity are for the public benefit:
1 to promote the care, safety and upbringing of children and young people
by:1.1 supporting and assisting those in need, their families and carers;
1.2 promoting their health; and
1.3 advancing their education.
Purpose 4: likely to be a charitable purpose, but confuses means with purposes,
vague in parts.
Toolkit: public benefit
Completing the public benefit statement
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The benefit that flows from each of your purposes.
Demonstrating this benefit.
Any harm arising from the purpose and whether this is outweighed by the benefit.
Who the beneficiaries are: the public or a section of the public.
Whether any individual or organisation gains a private benefit and, if so, that this is
incidental in achieving the purpose
Complete sentences in the toolkit
Draft in a separate document and copy into online application form
Toolkit: public benefit
Benefit element
For each purpose:
What benefit flows from it?
•The benefits which flow from this purpose
include improved health outcomes and
reduced levels of stress and anxiety
Can you demonstrate the benefit?
•These benefits will be demonstrated through
feedback from patients and regular
independent evaluation of our services
Is any harm or possibility of harm outweighed by
the benefit?
•In providing medical treatment for patients
with illness x there is a risk of unintended side
effects from the drugs however this is rare
and the benefit outweighs the harm
Public element
For each purpose:
Who is the benefit for?
•The benefits of this purpose are provided
to those diagnosed with illness x and to
their families and carers
Is there any private benefit? Is it incidental and
necessary?
•The private benefit flowing from this
purpose is that gained by a Trustee who
also has a teenage child who uses the
respite service. This trustee applies for and
is assigned respite in the same way as all
other beneficiaries therefore it is incidental
Public benefit statement
The benefits which flow from this purpose include improved health outcomes and reduced
levels of stress and anxiety
These benefits will be demonstrated through feedback from patients and regular
independent evaluation of our services
In providing medical treatment for patients with illness x there is a risk of unintended side
effects from the drugs however this is rare and the benefit outweighs the harm
The benefits of this purpose are provided to those diagnosed with illness x and to their
families and carers
The private benefit flowing from this purpose is that gained by a Trustee who also has a
teenage child who uses the respite service. This trustee applies for and is assigned respite
in the same way as all other beneficiaries therefore it is incidental
Practical exercise 2
Public benefit statement
Practical exercise part two
Example public benefit statement
The trustees believe that our purpose satisfies both elements of the public benefit
requirement.
Purpose one
The direct benefits which flow from this purpose include an increase in the number
of children in education across the world and reduced infant and child mortality
rates. These benefits can be demonstrated through official government statistics.
There is the potential for harm in sending volunteers to dangerous parts of the
world however this is mitigated through having policies in place to protect them
and is necessary to achieving the purpose. The beneficiaries of this purpose are
children in any country of the world. A private benefit may be to the travel
company with whom we have a relationship to facilitate the movement of
volunteers abroad. These benefits are incidental and necessary to ensure the
benefit is provided to our beneficiaries.
Registration process:
questions
Any questions?
Registration process: the online
application system
What do you need to apply?
Registration information and document checklist
•
•
•
•
•
•
Up to date governing document
Trustee declaration
Details of charity trustees: DOB, contact details, current and previous names
Bank details
Most recent annual report (not essential)
Latest set of financial accounts (not essential)
Applying for registration
•
•
•
•
•
•
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Online process
Provided with a unique password
Three months to submit your application once you are invited forward
Don’t have to complete in one sitting – once receive application number can log in and log
out
No activity – time out
Different routes for some types of charity eg charitable company asked for company no.
DO NOT select ‘approved governing documents’ unless you are part of a pre-approved
group registration eg PTAs
System has help information
System indicates what information is available on the public register
– purposes and activities
– area(s) of operation
– financial information
– trustee names
Some information is compulsory: you will not be able to progress without an answer *
Registration process: guidance and
resources available
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•
•
•
•
•
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Registering as a charity in Northern Ireland guidance
Public benefit requirement statutory guidance
Purposes and public benefit toolkit
Registration document and information checklist
Registration information form: trustees and key contact
Trustee declaration form
Helper groups
Model governing documents
Online tutorial
Online registration
tutorial
Online services
If registered, organisation will
receive:
– Welcome Pack
– Log-in details to ‘Online services’
From Online services, organisation
can amend information, for
example:
–
–
–
–
–
–
Area of operation
What your charity does
How your charity does its work
Bank / building society details
Website address
Details of trustees
Common errors: avoid!
1.
Incorrect / incomplete attachments
– Ensure the 3 required documents are attached; complete governing document
with no pages missing, recent bank/building society account statement in
charity’s name, completed trustee declaration
2.
Incorrectly selecting approved governing document
– Answer no unless you are using a governing document that has been preapproved by the Commission, does not refer to internal approval
3.
Purposes in application do not match those in governing document
– Should be a direct replica of purposes (objects) in governing document
4.
Poor public benefit statement
– Ensure that you use the toolkit, account for public benefit flowing from EACH
purpose
Common errors: avoid!
5.
Poor ‘what your organisation does’ response
– Supplement public benefit statement, refer to the activities the organisation
carries out to advance its purposes
6.
Inaccurate what / how / who classifications
– Consider the full lists, select all that apply, do not select more than are
necessary, should be an accurate reflection of organisation
7.
Incorrect number of trustees or incorrectly identified
– Check governing document for minimum requirement number of trustees,
ensure details of ALL trustees are entered on the application
8.
Trustee declaration completed incorrectly
– Complete both sides, must be signed and dated (date of signature) by all
trustees
Next steps
• Gather all information needed from within your organisation using the
checklist produced by the Commission
• Read the public benefit statutory guidance
• Use Commission guidance to prepare your application for registration
• Get trustee declaration signed
• If you need more help, consider approaching a helper group
• Submit application for registration by the deadline – ideally well before
Thank you
Any questions?
For more information visit our website
www.charitycommissionni.org.uk

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