The Charity Commission has published new guidance on setting up a charity which it hopes will encourage people to “think carefully” before doing so.
The core guidance is entitled How to set up a charity (CC21a), and contains a seven-step guide to help potential trustees set up a charity.
The first step of the core guidance is entitled “Decide if a charity is the right option”, and contains a section entitled “Alternatives to setting up a new charity”.
It suggests that someone interested in setting up a charity might instead consider working with an existing charity as a trustee or volunteer, setting up a named fund with an organisation such as the Charities Aid Foundation, or setting up a social enterprise.
The Commission said in a statement accompanying the guidance that it “hopes the user-friendly format will encourage people to think carefully before setting up a charity,” and that “the guidance suggests alternatives to creating a new charity”.
Sam Younger, chief executive of the Commission, said: “Starting and running a charity is a big step – it requires hard work, patience and commitment. I hope this guidance helps people decide whether setting up a new charity really is the best way to help.”
Younger said last month in his final speech as chief executive that “not all the charities we register make an impact” and that too many people set up charities without checking whether someone else was doing the same work.
“The result is duplication, inefficiency and, sadly, too many charities that are not managed well enough,” he said.
And the ICAEW recently called for a change in the law to allow the Charity Commission to refuse a charity registration when a similar charity already exists.
Accompanying guidance also published
The guidance is accompanied by How to register your charity (CC21b), which offers information on how to register a charity once set up. It is also accompanied by two pieces of guidance on types of charity: How to choose a structure (CC22a) and How to write your governing document (CC22b).
The Commission has also launches an updated online application form, which it says “will help applicants to identify and set out all the necessary information about their charity upfront” and is “designed to reduce post-application correspondence”.