Applying for Registration for your Charity 1
After deciding on the most appropriate Model for your Charity and hopefully you have downloaded a “model” constitution for the Charity Commission Website.
You now need to register your Charity with the Charity Commission, once again on their website is where you need to turn to and surprisingly it is very easy to navigate through. When we registered after about six online pages you are given a Reference Number, you need to keep this safe as your online application can be saved and if you need to return to it without your registration number, well, let’s say you may need to start over again.
I have to reiterate the Charity Commission website is very helpful with links to and from the GOV.uk website you can and should spend hours reading all the information on their which you will need in order to not just register but understand key concepts related to Charities such as Public benefit, Due Diligence etc.
It is, always best to have your ideas and information written down before starting the application.
Take our registration, for almost two years prior to registering my brother worked tirelessly carrying out food runs feeding the homeless on a weekly basis with no structure but from the goodness of his being he felt a religious obligation to serve others.
I approached him with the idea of setting up a structure and gave the charity idea, he was happy for me to “run” the show and when we registered our Charity was originally called RIZQ4ALL. You pronounce that!!! unfortunately he refused to change this and was adamant that the name stayed and once we were registered and after I was made the Chair. My first duty was to get rid of the name and after a lot of in-fighting and I mean bitter in-fighting the name Humanity Gives was agreed upon.
My brother did not talk to me for three months after this and left the Charity shortly after. I am highlighting this as I want you to realise that running a Charity is not all altruistic, it’s not all fun and cheer it’s not simply helping the less fortunate or the terminally ill. It is in fact running a cut-throat business in a very cut-throat sector and at times I wished I was running a “normal” company (more of this later).
As I mentioned the name is very important our confusion with the name cost us several months and countless phone call reminders to the Charity Commission before we started all over so in order to save you headaches and sleepless nights, choosing the right name is a crucial exercise.
Once the name has been decided upon and you have purchased the domain name for your Charity Website (More on this topic later) You will need names and addresses of Trustees.The role of a trustee is the most under recognised role in my experience with the community, yet it is the most crucial, a board of motivated trustees who all share the same mission and values will make decision making so much easier and allow your organisation to move ahead swiftly. I fell into the trap of getting “professionals” on board first a Dr and a Solicitor who were great friends and on paper I’m sure it looked impressive but things quickly unravelled as they were too busy and did not share the values of the Charity, it was also a case of “Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians!!”
Once you have a name for your organisation and a list of reputable trustees. I would recommend making sure that they have cleared DBS checks, this is not a requirement of the Charity Commission but Disclosure Barring Service Checks. (DBS checks can be carried out online for a modest fee) and it will give you and the public reassurance that your trustees are reputable and off good character.
Next blog we will continue with the registration process looking at your Aims, Public Benefit and sharing the mistakes we made early on.