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Public Benefit - UPDATE

On 8 July the Charity Commission released an update on its public benefit work.

The work is in relation to charities demonstrating and reporting on the benefit they bring to the public, as set out in the Charities Act 2006.

The Commission has published four assessments on arts charities and completed the work in connection with the assessments it carried out in July 2009.

The purpose of the assessments is to provide real examples for rest of the charity sector, to help in their awareness of public benefit.

Arts Charities

With regard to the work on arts charities, four charities were chosen. The Commission found that all four are being administered for public benefit. The Commission believes that this demonstrates that the public benefit principles are flexible enough to apply to four charities who are all very different with regard to profile, size and operation, yet clear enough to distinguish them from organisations that are not charities. 

Follow up on July 2009 assessments

These assessments were on twelve charities, eight passed but four were not being administered for public benefit. The four were two independent schools, a nursing home and a convalescent hotel. The four have had to develop and submit plans with regard to public benefit.

The two schools used a mix of new or additional bursary assistance financed by fundraising, together with educational benefits they provide in the local community. The Commission found that both schools had addressed the issues.

The nursing home has also addressed the original findings by developing a clear strategy for providing and publicising the assistance it offers to those who could not otherwise afford to use its services.

The hotel faced some significant challenges and is continuing to work on its plan, for which it has been given a four month extension.

The Commission now plans to review a small number of sports and recreation charities. These will be the final public benefit assessments.

Full details of the assessments can be found at



Date: 13th July, 2010
Author: Wendy Bambrick


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