Last year, the Charity Commission, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and UK Community Foundations (the registered charity representing the national network of Community Foundations) launched the Revitalising Trusts programme aimed at unlocking charitable funds currently held in dormant, ineffective or inactive charities.
The Commission has published some short guidance concerning the programme which can be found here.
The programme has operated relatively quietly since its launch in October 2018 with little by way of update from the Commission. However in July, it was reported that the Commission had managed to free up in region of £10 million by contacting certain charities and suggesting to their trustees a range of steps that could be taken to make more effective use of the funds.
The steps the Commission is suggesting are:
- transferring assets to another charity (with Community Foundations being the Commission's preferred destination);
- winding up the charity concerned; or
- amending the charity's purposes so as to enable the charitable application of the funds.
The Commission is making contact with charities who, over the past 5 years, have either spent no money or spent less than 30% of their income. Any failure to respond to the Commission by any such charity will prompt the Commission to "look at all regulatory options".
If you have been on the end of an e-mail from the Commission about the Revitalising Trusts programme and have any concerns as to your next steps please do not hesitate to contact me. Ignoring the Commission is not advisable!
The ‘Revitalising Trusts’ programme helps charities who find it hard to spend their income on the public benefit. Charity trustees can get help from the programme, and should discuss their charity’s future if it is hard for the charity to: get new trustees spend your income identify beneficiaries find time to run the charity