UK Government’s Charities Act has been given Royal Assent. The Act, previously announced in last year’s Queen’s Speech, makes several key changes to the 2011 Charities Act.
The changes will apply to charitable organisations in Wales and England. These changes include:
- Making it easier for charities and trustees to amend their governing documents or Royal Charters (with Commission approval needed in particular circumstances).
- Trustees will be able to be paid for goods provided to a charity under certain circumstances, even if not stated in the governing documents. This allows charities the flexibility to access goods from trustees without Commission permission.
- Charities will have greater flexibility to make use of a ‘permanent endowment’ – money or property originally envisioned to be held by an organisation forever. This includes an amendment allowing trustees to borrow up to 25% of the value of their endowment funds, without Commission approval.
- Charities will be able to take advantage of simpler rules on failed appeals. For instance, if an appeal raises too little cash, the charity can spend donations of under £120 on similar charitable purposes without contacting individual donors to gain permission.
- Charities will gain access to a much wider pool of professional advisors on land disposal, and to more straightforward rules on what advice they should receive.
Although the Act has received Royal Assent and become law, the Charity Commission has noted not all these changes will occur at once – some require secondary legislation, while others will require the Commission to alter its systems and processes. The Commission aims to have implemented all the changes by autumn of 2023.
WCVA welcomes these changes which should ease some of the regulatory pressures on trustees and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.
You can read the full text of the Act here.
If you would like to learn more about issues of governance, we have lots of useful information and links on our Governance & leadership page.