How to Start a Charity

How to Start a CharityIf you are interested in how to start a charity, this guide should be a good place to start. There are very strict rules and regulations governing the formation of new charities, so it’s important to do your research.

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4 Key Points When Starting a Charity

1. Trustees

When starting a charity you have to get a group of “Trustees” together to manage the charity. There must be a minimum of 2 people, but is usually best to have more. It is important to have trustees who are enthusiastic and passionate for the charity to achieve its aims. It is also helpful to have people who have particular skills to bring to the management of the charity. For example, an accountant can help with finances; a business person could help with marketing and business planning and a solicitor could help with any legal issues.

It may also be useful to have trustees who have experience of the causes you are furthering, so if you are running a charity for people for disabilities, then it may be helpful to have a disabled person acting as a trustee, as it is likely that they will know who to help those people in the best way. We can help in trying to find you trustees with the relevant skills.

2. Governing Document

You will need to have a “Governing Document”. This is a legal document that sets the rules for how the charity will operate and manage itself. One common form of governing document is a Constitution and this is great way of managing a Community Centre, for example. There are other types of governing document and we can advise you which is the most suitable for your charity and we can also provide the actual documents themselves.

3. Charitable Purpose

You will also need to be clear on what your “Charitable Purpose” is before you start. For example, your charity may be helping people in poverty, or may be helping children in Africa to get a better education. There are strict legal criteria on what is charitable and what isn’t. Not everything that is good for the community for example, may be charitable. We have a clear understanding of what the law considers to be charitable and therefore can give you the precise wording that you will need to go on and become a charity.

4. Banking

The last major thing you will need when starting up a charity is have a bank account in the name of the charity. At this stage you will not be able to open a “Charity Account” as you are not yet a charity. However, you can open a “treasurer’s” account or a “Community” account. Many high street banks and building societies have such accounts and we can advise of those in your area which offer you this service.

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