Charitable trusts

A Charitable Purpose

Charitable trusts can be made for a charitable purpose. The meaning includes those which are considered to be of value and importance to the community.

Charitable purposes

For the purposes of the law of England and Wales, ‘charitable purposes’ means purposes which are for the public benefit, and fall within any of the following descriptions of purposes:

  1. the prevention or relief of poverty;
  2. the advancement of religion;
  3. the advancement of education;
  4. the advancement of health or the saving of lives;
  5. the advancement of citizenship or community development;
  6. the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;
  7. the advancement of amateur sport;
  8. the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity;
  9. the advancement of environmental protection or improvement;
  10. the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage;
  11. the advancement of animal welfare;
  12. the promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown, or of the efficiency of the police, fire and rescue services or ambulance services;
  13. any other purposes recognised as charitable under existing charity law, including facilities for recreation or other leisure-time occupation, if the facilities are provided in the interests of social welfare;
  14. any purposes that may reasonably be regarded as analogous to, or within the spirit of, a purpose falling within heads1-13 above; and
  15. any purposes that may reasonably be regarded as analogous to, or within the spirit of, a purpose which has been recognised under head 14 above

In order for a gift to be charitable it must fall within one or more of the headings above and have a necessary element of public benefit. There are two elements relating to the second condition, mainly that the purpose must have an identifiable benefit and secondly that benefit must be available to a sufficient section of the public.

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For more information on:

  • Formation
  • Benefits of a charitable trust
  • Duties of charitable trustees