Public benefit and fundraising rules kick in

Rules requiring charities to demonstrate that they provide public benefit and requiring fundraisers to state what they are paid have come into force.

The measures – introduced on Tuesday by the Office of the Third Sector as part of the Charities Act 2006 – require organisations to prove that they have a charitable purpose and exist for the public benefit.

Organisations involved in poverty relief, religion and education will have to prove they are charitable – something they did not have to do before.

Paid fundraisers will have to tell prospective donors that they are paid and what their relationship is to the charity. Those who are not on staff will also have to say how much they are paid.

Charities will also face more stringent accounting rules.

“As society has progressed, so too have charities,” said Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector. “The new legal definition of charity, and the public benefit requirement, will give charities the platform to explain their good work and help the public see their true value.”

The new regulations are the fourth part of the Charities Act to have been made law.

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