Thinking of setting up a charity? Here are some things to consider first.
Before you go to the trouble of establishing a charity, consider what you are planning to achieve and think about whether there is an existing charity that already does what your proposed charity will do.
Are you able to assist, donate to, or partner with that charity, rather than establish your own?
Some people like to establish their own charity because it gives them autonomy, profile and an ability to focus on their particular objective, whereas others may prefer to work as part of a larger team, be a silent funder or remain anonymous. Registering as a charity After establishing your charity, it is a good idea to register with Charities Services of Internal Affairs and become a ‘‘ registered charity’’.
This can be a relatively straightforward process ( if your charity is compliant), and can be done online through the Charities website.
There are several benefits to registering your charitable organisation, including being exempt from paying tax. Purpose Charities Services will look closely at your organisation’s purpose when considering your application for registration, so it is important your purposes are charitable. A charitable purpose can relate to: The relief of poverty. The advancement of education or religion.
Any other matter beneficial to the community.
Your legal adviser will be able to assist with determining whether your purpose is ‘‘charitable’’.
What is accepted as a charitable purpose changes over time.
For example, the Supreme Court has recently held that having a lobbying function does not prevent charitable registration. Rules To register as a charity, your organisation needs to have a set of rules. Your rules should include: The purposes of your charity.
Who the trustees (or other officers) will be and how they are appointed.
A statement that your organisation is not carried on for private financial benefit or profit to an individual.
What will happen to the money and assets of your charity if it ceases to operate or ‘‘winds up’’.
How the rules can amended. Structure You should think about what sort of structure your charity will have.
For example, it may be preferable to establish a corporate body, such as a charitable trust or an incorporated society, compared to an unregistered trust or society.
If an organisation is a corporate body, it is able to fundraise, borrow money, own property, employ staff, or