How to Set Up your Own Charity

Setting up a charity is a relatively simple process, with six simple steps in England and Wales. The first thing is to find at least 3 trustees in order to manage the running and finances of the charity. The next step is ensuring that the charity you’re planning to create falls into the government’s ‘charitable causes for the public benefit’ list. Once you’ve chosen your charity’s name and structure, all you need to do is create your governing document and register your charity. In the blog piece below, we’ll go into the process in more detail, so you can start fundraising and order your engraved brick on behalf of your donors.

What are ‘charitable purposes’?

In order to fund a charity, you need to make sure that your proposed charity will be carrying out fundraising ‘for public benefit’. This includes contributing to sectors such as:

  • Education
  • Religion
  • Health
  • Alleviating poverty
  • Community development / citizenship
  • Saving lives
  • Amateur sports
  • The Arts
  • Religious or racial harmony
  • Human rights
  • Animal welfare
  • Protecting the environment
  • Providing support to the armed forces or ambulance, fire or police forces.

It is also important to know that you can’t set up a charity in order to help one specific person.

Naming your charity

When thinking of a name for your charity, you need to ensure you don’t pick a name that’s too similar to a pre-existing charity or any trademarked words you can’t use. Additionally, your charity name shouldn’t be misleading and can’t include offensive words or acronyms. If you’re planning to use any acronyms or additional names, you will have to list these when you apply to register as well.

Charity structures

There are four different charity structures you can choose, depending on how you want to run your charity and how you plan to fundraise, including:

  • Charitable company – Trustees have limited or no liability for the charity’s liabilities or debts and you’ll have to register with Companies House.
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) – This structure is designed for incorporated charities and you register with the Charity Commission rather than Companies House. Once again, your trustees will have limited or no liability for CIO liabilities and debts.
  • Charitable Trust – Charitable Trusts are appropriate for a group of trustees who need or want to manage assets including buildings, land, money and investments.
  • Unincorporated Charitable Organisation – If you’re looking for a simple way for yourself and a group of fellow volunteers to run a charity for a common purpose, you can choose to register as an unincorporated charitable association. However, this choice means the charity can’t own premises or employ any staff.

What to include in your governing document

A governing document needs to ensure all your trustees and anyone interested understand why your charity exists, how it is run and by whom, how your charity appoints its trustees, the rules on your trustees’ expenses. Rules about paying trustees, how the charity should be closed.

Registering your charity

You will need to apply for registering your charity if the income to the charity is £5,000 per year or more or it’s a CIO in England or Wales. You will have to provide a number of supporting documents and proof of income in accordance with government guidelines.

At Engrave Bricks, we work closely with a number of different charitable organisations, and we understand just how rewarding running a charity can be. Engraved bricks are an excellent way for your charity to fundraise large amounts and help your donors to feel fully included in achieving your charity’s goals.

For more information, simply call us on 01730 895971 or email info@engravebricks.co.uk today.

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