Research organisation appeals to charity tribunal after charitable status is refused

Crocels Community Media Group claims the Charity Commission turned down its application because its object of promoting peace was seen as political

Crocels: appealing decision
Crocels: appealing decision

A Wales-based research and communications organisation has launched a charity tribunal appeal against a Charity Commission decision not to grant the group charitable status.

Crocels Community Media Group, which aims to promote peace, conduct research on reducing numbers in the army and provide digital skills mentoring for young and disabled people, was turned down because the commission decided its aims were not charitable.

Jonathan Bishop, who founded the group, told Third Sector that he believed the group’s object of promoting peace had been judged political by the commission.

Bishop said: "I’m appealing on the grounds that the commission seems to not understand that being in favour of peace is not the same as politically campaigning against war.

"We’re arguing that our objectives are in line with the charities legislation, and we can point to other charitable organisations that mention peace on their websites."

He said the proposed charity would be an academic organisation dedicated to contributing to public debate, not a political one.

"The Charity Commission is not fit for purpose because it didn’t take the time to understand what we were about and just saw the application as a piece of paperwork," said Bishop.

"Maybe what it should have done was discuss with us how to rewrite our objects within the law if it didn’t think they met it."

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said the regulator was aware that an appeal had been filed against the decision.

He said: "The commission believes that the objects submitted are not charitable therefore rejected the application to register. Where an organisation is not charitable, it is not the commission’s role to assist it in becoming a charity.

"With more than 7,000 registration applications submitted a year, the commission does not have the capacity to offer registration advice. We have detailed guidance on our website and urge those who need further support to seek professional advice."

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