There may be various reasons for disposing of your charity land. You may, for example, want to relocate the charity to more appropriate premises or release some cash that you can apply to other projects.
Before you start, you and the other trustees must be sure that:
- you have permission to sell or lease the property – either in your governing document or in the law
- there is nothing in your governing document that prevents you selling or leasing the property
- your charity actually owns the title to the property
- the sale or lease is in the charity’s best interests
- if the property is designated for a particular purpose, such as a recreation ground, that the sale or lease doesn’t go against this
It’s usually straightforward to sell or lease charity land and property – most charities don’t need Charity Commission approval. You must try to get the best deal for your charity and follow any rules in the law and your governing document.
More detailed information can be found here
For free property advice, guidance and workshops visit the Ethical Property Foundation
The merger of charities means two or more separate charities coming together to form one organisation. In such cases, either a new charity is formed to carry on the work or take on the assets of the original charities or one charity assumes control of another.
Before you start, decide whether merging is in your charity’s interests. It could be less risky and more efficient to work with another charity more informally. You should read the Charity Commission’s guidance on collaborative working, making mergers succeed and its mergers checklist.
When thinking about a merger, you must make sure that:
- the governing documents of the charities involved allow the merger
- all the charities involved have similar aims
Tips for successful mergers
- The merger should be in the best interests of the charities’ beneficiaries
- The charities involved must be compatible in objects, culture and values
- Effective communication with all stakeholders from the outset is vital – processes and outcomes should be clear to all involved
- The charities’ trustees should be united in believing that the merger is the best way forward
- Identify the key roles and responsibilities in the merger process
- Communicate and negotiate in a way that reflects the interests of all parties
- Contact the Charity Commission at an early stage if advice is needed
About corporate structures
Some charity structures are corporate bodies. If you choose a structure that forms a corporate body, the law considers your charity to be a person in the same way as an individual.
This gives your charity the legal capacity to do many things in its own name that a person can do, such as:
- employing paid staff
- delivering charitable services under contractual agreements
- entering into commercial contracts in its own name
- owning freehold or leasehold land or other property
If a charity structure is a corporate body, generally its trustees aren’t personally liable for what it does.
If your charity isn’t a corporate body (‘unincorporated’):
- the trustees are personally liable for what it does
- it won’t be able to enter into contracts or control some investments in its own name
- two or more trustees, a corporate custodian trustee or the charities’ land holding service will have to ‘hold’ any land on your charity’s behalf
More information can be found here
Our Spring Newsletter should have arrived with you by post – if it hasn’t please let us know by emailing us here, or download it here:
Newsletter Spring 2018
In this edition we cover HMRC Rates and Threshold Changes, Independent Examination of Accounts, Charity Governing Document, Claiming Tax Back on Donations, Gift Aid