Charity Commission guidance on giving to non-charitable organisations

The Charity Commission issued draft guidance in February 2016 in relation to what Trustees need to consider before deciding whether to make a grant to an organisation which is not a charity to carry out charitable activities or projects. While making grants to non-charitable organisations may present new opportunities to further your own charitable purposes, your Trustees will need to understand the risks and boundaries of doing so as non-charitable organisations are not required to deliver public benefit or stick to charitable objectives.

The guidance is clear on the limits on funding organisations which are not charities and, as a charity can only fund charitable activity that is intended to further its purposes, the draft guidance stress that:

  • a charity cannot give an unrestricted grant to a non-charity
  • a charity can only allow a grant to cover costs that are directly connected to carrying out the activities it has agreed to fund
  • a charity cannot fund the core costs (overheads) of a non-charity

What does this mean for churches and PCCs?

If your PCC makes grants (e.g. mission giving):

  • check whether the receiving organisation is a charity
  • if not, set conditions for what purpose the grant is to be used and ensure the receiving organisation accepts them
  • check to ensure the funds have been used as specified

Further details can be found on the Government website.



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