Friday, November 10

Brits pass Charities Act

Next week, the British Parliament appears ready to make the Charities Act of 2006 law.

The Act has several laws related to fundraising. A columnist in the Telegraph thinks the Bill is alarming and has real threats. It "will vastly increase the power of the Charities' Commission to dissolve charities, confiscate their endowments and assets, and give them to what the Commission considers a more genuinely 'charitable' cause."

It means that the Commission will be able to use whatever definition of "public benefit" it likes. The motive behind redefining that notion seems to have been the desire to ensure that charities benefit all the public, not just some small section of it. That is why, for instance, schools and hospitals that charge fees are being threatened with the withdrawal of their charitable status: they are said only to benefit people who can afford to pay, and not the whole of the British public.

Thanks to Philip Cubeta at Gift Hub for the heads up.

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