Regulation with Rosie: Website help

The Charity Commission's Rosie Chapman on assistance on its website.

The start of the year signifies promise and potential. But a blank canvas, which may be attractive in life, can be bewildering when applied to charity administration. How should you go about drafting changes to a governing document, for example, or registering a title to charity land? There are a number of steps in the life cycle of most charities that happen too rarely for trustees to be familiar enough with the right tools to handle them with confidence.

In response, there's a whole section on our website called 'apply for it'. Taking these life cycle steps one by one, it provides forms and links to help trustees achieve the desired outcome as painlessly as possible and with quicker results.

Starting with model governing documents, trust deeds and constitutions, 'apply for it' also contains the forms and advice small charities need to transfer assets or change their purposes.

Accounts invariably terrify the uninitiated, so guidance and downloadable forms to help in their preparation are there too.

As provisions in the Charities Act come into force, these forms and guidance are automatically amended, providing up-to-date information and the forms needed to help make key changes, all in one place. There's even advice about using the commission's official custodian as an easy way to hold title for land for your charity.

Self-certification covers an increasing number of provisions, and these pages show you these as well as providing the forms needed. Closing the circle, if it's time to bring your charity to an end, all the information you need is here.

The commission can't help you achieve your personal goals, but the 'apply for it' pages will, we hope, leave you with more free time to do so.

- Rosie Chapman is executive director of policy and effectiveness at the commission.

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