The Charity Commission has published a blog on the five key changes to charity law included in the charities bill.
The aim of the changes is to make life simpler for trustees and let them get on with the important work of running their charities.
WHAT ARE THE KEY CHANGES?
Here are five of the key proposed changes for charities and their trustees:
- Charities and trustees will be able to amend their governing documents or Royal Charters more easily – remaining subject to the Commission and the Privy Council’s approval in certain circumstances
- Charities will have access to a much wider pool of professional advisors on land disposal, and to more straightforward rules on what advice they must receive, which could save them time and money when selling land
- Charities will have more flexibility to make use of a ‘permanent endowment’ – this is money or property originally meant to be held by a charity forever. This includes a change which will allow trustees to borrow a sum of up to 25% of the value of their permanent endowment funds, without the Commission’s approval
- Trustees will be able to be paid for goods provided to a charity in certain circumstances, even if not expressly stated in the charity’s governing document (currently trustees can only be paid for supply of services). From pencils to paint, this will allow charities the flexibility to access goods from trustees when it is in the best interests of the charity (eg if cheaper), without needing Commission permission
- Charities will be able to take advantage of simpler and more proportionate rules on failed appeals. For example, if a charity appeal raises too little money, the charity will be able to spend donations below £120 on similar charitable purposes without needing to contact individual donors for permission
WCVA responded to the Law Commission consultation and welcomes the changes which should ease some of the regulatory pressures on trustees and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.