Charities Act 2009


Charitable purpose.

3.— (1) For the purposes of this Act each of the following shall, subject to subsection (2), be a charitable purpose:

( a) the prevention or relief of poverty or economic hardship;

( b) the advancement of education;

( c) the advancement of religion;

( d) any other purpose that is of benefit to the community.

(2) A purpose shall not be a charitable purpose unless it is of public benefit.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), a gift shall not be of public benefit unless—

( a) it is intended to benefit the public or a section of the public, and

( b) in a case where it confers a benefit on a person other than in his or her capacity as a member of the public or a section of the public, any such benefit is reasonable in all of the circumstances, and is ancillary to, and necessary, for the furtherance of the public benefit.

(4) It shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that a gift for the advancement of religion is of public benefit.

(5) The Authority shall not make a determination that a gift for the advancement of religion is not of public benefit without the consent of the Attorney General.

(6) A charitable gift for the purpose of the advancement of religion shall have effect, and the terms upon which it is given shall be construed, in accordance with the laws, canons, ordinances and tenets of the religion concerned.

(7) In determining whether a gift is of public benefit or not, account shall be taken of—

( a) any limitation imposed by the donor of the gift on the class of persons who may benefit from the gift and whether or not such limitation is justified and reasonable, having regard to the nature of the purpose of the gift, and

( b) the amount of any charge payable for any service provided in furtherance of the purpose for which the gift is given and whether it is likely to limit the number of persons or classes of person who will benefit from the gift.

(8) A limitation referred to in subsection (7) shall not be justified and reasonable if all of the intended beneficiaries of the gift or a significant number of them have a personal connection with the donor of the gift.

(9) There shall be no appeal to the Tribunal from a determination of the Authority to which subsection (5) applies.

(10) For the purposes of this section, a gift is not a gift for the advancement of religion if it is made to or for the benefit of an organisation or cult—

( a) the principal object of which is the making of profit, or

( b) that employs oppressive psychological manipulation—

(i) of its followers, or

(ii) for the purpose of gaining new followers.

(11) In this section “purpose that is of benefit to the com munity” includes—

( a) the advancement of community welfare including the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, or disability,

( b) the advancement of community development, including rural or urban regeneration,

( c) the promotion of civic responsibility or voluntary work,

( d) the promotion of health, including the prevention or relief of sickness, disease or human suffering,

( e) the advancement of conflict resolution or reconciliation,

( f) the promotion of religious or racial harmony and harmonious community relations,

( g) the protection of the natural environment,

( h) the advancement of environmental sustainability,

( i) the advancement of the efficient and effective use of the property of charitable organisations,

( j) the prevention or relief of suffering of animals,

( k) the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or sciences, and

( l) the integration of those who are disadvantaged, and the promotion of their full participation, in society.