So, you’ve started a charity, what do you do now? Well, the answer is get it registered!! When registering a charity you have two choices depending how much money you have:
Firstly, if you have £5000 then you can get registered with the Charity Commission and get that all important registered charity number. A lot of donors would expect to see a charity number so to secure this will really help with your fundraising, particularly if you are applying for grants from organisations like the Big Lottery Fund.
Having a number also gives comfort to donors because they know that the Charity Commission will have given you a rigorous check before giving you that number.
So, how do you register a charity with the Commission? Well, your charity obviously needs to be set up properly; having a suitable Governing Document; with Charitable Objects that benefit the public. Once you have demonstrated these things an application to register must be lodged with the Commission and they decide if you can have a number. This can be a long and laborious legal process for people not familiar with Charity Law but it is well worth it in the end.
The second option applies if you do not yet have £5000 and whatever happens make sure you register your charity with HMRC (the taxman) because, as a charity you get tax breaks. Firstly, you get Gift Aid on all donations you receive… that means for every £10 you get, you can claim back a further £2.50. There are many other tax breaks available too, including some VAT relief. To get registered you need to apply, which is a similar process to registering a charity with the Charity Commission, where you have to demonstrate your Charitable Objects are for the Benefit of the Public.
Of course, here at Charity Expert we have the skills, experience and expertise to carry out either of these processes on your behalf and we have a range of packages to suit your needs individual needs.