Commission launches programme to ‘close or revitalise’ dormant charities

18 Jul 2019 News

The Charity Commission yesterday published guidance for inactive or ineffective charities and has been contacting organisations it believes could benefit from support.

It is working with UK Community Foundations' Revitalising Trusts programme to encourage dormant charities to either close and transfer their assets or to change their purposes and operate more effectively. 

As part of the government’s Civil Society Strategy, unveiled nearly a year ago, £20m was identified as being held in dormant charitable trusts, which could be redirected within the sector. At the time UKCF and the Commission said that they were designing the process. The project launched in October 2018.

The Commission has so far written to just over 1,000 trusts that have either not spent any money in the past five years or have spent less than 30 per cent of their income in the past five years, encouraging them to seek support. 

This has secured the release of £10m back into the sector and the Commission expects to release a further £10m by March 2020.

Today’s guidance says: “The Revitalising Trusts programme helps charities who find it hard to spend their income on the public benefit. Charity trustees can get help from the programme, and should discuss their charity’s future if it is hard for the charity to: get new trustees; spend your income; identify beneficiaries, and find time to run the charity.”

It directs charities to other guidance on transferring assets, closing down, or changing purposes. 

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