Charities may be established in a number of ways. Typically, charities may be set up as charitable trusts, unincorporated associations, companies limited by guarantee and charitable incorporated organisations.
Depending on the type of charity, different forms of governing document will be used. In the case of a trust, there will be a trust deed. That will often be contained in a historical conveyance of property to charitable trustees. An unincorporated organisation will have rules which may be referred to as its constitution; limited Companies will have a memorandum and articles of association and a charitable incorporated organisation will have a constitution which is fairly similar to that of a limited company.
The FBC Manby Bowdler Charities and not-for-profit team includes both specialist corporate and trust lawyers who have experience in advising charities about governance issues and their governing documents. This may include advice about trustees’ duties and responsibilities but may involve updating a charity’s governing document. Those changes may include changes to the charity’s objects where those objects no longer meet the need the for which charity was set up.
Changes may be required if, for example, the governing document doesn’t specify how new charity trustees are to be appointed or if provision specifying how decisions are made have become outdated. The changes that a charity may make to its governing document will depend on whether the charity has a power of amendment. It may also depend on the type of charity and it may depend upon the charity’s income. If necessary, FBC Manby Bowdler can assist with applications to the Charity Commission for consent to make those changes.
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