New public benefit guidance for charities

The Charity Commission has published revised public benefit guidance for all charities.

The guidance, which the Commission is required to produce under the Charities Act 2011, is split into three short, high level guides available both in online and offline formats. Trustees must follow this guidance when administering their charity.

The three guides are:

  • Public Benefit: the public benefit requirement
  • Public Benefit: running a charity
  • Public Benefit: reporting

In summary, the three guides explain what is required to show that an organisation is a charity (by having purposes that are for the public benefit), what trustees’ duties are in carrying out those purposes for the public benefit, and how trustees should report on the public benefit their charity provides in their Annual Report.

The guides also explain that the trustees of charities which charge fees for services or facilities that the poor cannot afford must make provision for the poor to benefit. It is for trustees - not the Commission or the courts - to decide how to do this, but they must act reasonably and make more than a minimal provision.

For more information visit the Charity Commission website