Thursday, November 26, 2009

Public Benefit Assessments – The Government’s Perspective

Third Sector reports that the Charity Commission of England and Wales has given charities a five year deadline to improve performance under the Commission’s public benefit assessment structure.  The Charity Commission’s website states that “the Charities Act 2006 requires all charities to have aims which are, demonstrably, for the public benefit” and provides two core principles and a host of sub-principles that must be met in order for a charity to pass a public benefit assessment.  The overarching principles require “identifiable benefit or benefits” provided to “the public or a section of the public.”  The Commission provides greater detail of what is required in its general guidance publication.

In recent months, the Charity Commission, has called for a demonstrable commitment from certain fee-charging schools.  Two of the five schools assessed earlier this year by the Commission were found to not be providing sufficient public benefit and were given three months to respond.  The schools were then given an additional nine months to create plans to address the assessment results.

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