The Charity Commission has this week published new guidance on how the upcoming Charities Bill will impact the third sector.
If you are a charity trustee, here are five things you need to know about the new rules and regulations.
Governing documents and Royal Charters
Under the new legislation, charities and trustees will be able to amend their founding documents “more easily”, subject to Charity Commission, and, in some cases, Privy Council approval.
The new laws will extend access to a “much wider pool” of professional advisors on land disposal following concerns that the current regime was too complex. As part of these changes, the rules on what advice charities must receive before they dispose of land will be simplified – potentially saving them time and money.
According to the Charity Commission, not-for-profit organisations will have “more flexibility” to make use of a permanent endowment – defined as money or assets intended to be held by a charity forever.
This may include, for example, a change that will allow trustees to borrow a sum of up to 25 per cent of the value of their permanent endowment funds – without the Charity Commission’s approval.
The new rules will allow for the payment of goods provided to a charity by a trustee in “certain circumstances”. The regulator says this will allow charities to access goods from trustees when it is in “the best interests” of the charity – for example, cheaper.
Under the current regulations, trustees can only be paid for the supply of services.
The rules around ‘failed’ charity appeals – for example, where too little is raised – will be made “simpler and more proportionate”. This may allow charities to spend donations below £120 without needing to first contact individual donors for permission.
Get expert advice today
For help and advice with related charity finance matters, please get in touch with our specialist third sector team today.