The Scope of These Guidance Leaflets
This series of leaflet is intended to give you just a quick overview of the things that you will need to take into account in setting up a new small charity.
They are NOT a professional opinion or a full and comprehensive guide to Charity Law and all the associated regulations.
They are just a simple overview of the main points for those who want to set up a small charity to serve their local community or to help those with a particular area of need.
So if you are expecting your charity’s income to be more than £250,000 in its first year, or to own property, or to employ more than the equivalent of 3 full-time staff then the information in these leaflets will not be sufficient and you should seek appropriate professional guidance elsewhere.
However, take care!
Not all professional lawyers, accountants and financial advisors have adequate knowledge or experience of charity law and its applications (including some who claim that they do). So if you are going to engage professional advisors, and particularly if you are going to pay them a fee, make sure that their Letter of Engagement explicitly confirms that they have relevant experience in charity law and its applications. And if they will give you written testimonials from other charities they have worked for, then even better.
The Guidance Leaflets
Click on the required title to open a downloadable PDF copy
or be taken to the appropriate webpage.
Introduction & Overview
An overview of what needs to be done to set up and register a new charity. And a summary of the contents of each leaflet to guide you through all the necessary steps.
Outputs & Outcomes
Understanding the importance of Outputs & Outcomes in describing what your charity is going to do, and the differences between them.
How to choose Charitable Purposes which will comply with the requirements of the Charities Act.
Example Charitable Purposes
Some example charitable purposes provided by the Charity Commission
How to choose the right Governing Document
What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of a CIO over an Unincorporated Association?
Trustees: Their Roles & Responsibilities
ALL Trustees: The roles and responsibilities of ALL Trustees
The Chair: Typical Roles & Responsibilities of the Chair
The Treasurer: Typical Roles & Responsibilities of the Treasurer
Paying Trustees: The issues in paying Trustees for goods and/or services that they provide to the charity?
Why you need a Minute Book - and what form should it take?
Why you need a bank account - and how to go about getting one set up.
Simple Is Beautiful: Charity Accounts as if Trustees Mattered
Setting up & Managing Your Financial Records
Inspired by the iconic book "Small is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered".
Clicking on this link takes youto another page on this website. There you will find a series of leaflets, with a working example spreadsheet, of how "ordinary" volunteer Trustees can easily set up and run their charity's accounts to the required Charity Commission standard without having to become "professional" accountants.
"People don't plan to fail - they simply fail to plan" (an old adage)
Clicking on this link takes you to another page on this website which explains why you need a Programme Plan (usually called a Business Plan in the commercial sector) - and how to set one up.
Policies & Procedures
Clicking on this link takes you to another page on this website where where you will find downloadable working examples of the common Policies & Procedures that charities should have in place.
But there's no "one size fits all". So the examples won't suit every charity. But they're better than staring at a blank sheet of paper wondering where to start.
Registering Your Charity with the Charity Commission:
Professional Charity Registration Services
Registering a new small charity can be rather long-winded and bureaucratically tedious.
But it is not complicated.
We believe that, with a bit of help and guidance, anyone who is competent enough to run a charity effectively, and is committed to their charitable objectives, is competent to register their charity themselves.
So Small Charity Support does not offer a commissioned (paid for) charity registration service.
But we are happy to try to help you with any queries or concerns
which are not covered by the leaflets in this series.
Intellectual Property and Copyrights
Crown Copyright acknowledged.
All the other materials on this website are the intellectual property and copyright of Small Charity Support. All Small Charity Support's services and materials are made available free of charge and royalties for use by bona fide small charities and not-for-profit community organisations.
Use of the materials, directly or modified, for commercial or for-profit purposes
is NOT permitted.