Charities must prove public benefit of work

Leading voluntary organisations have welcomed the publication of
government proposals to reform the law, which will mean charities
have to prove their work has a public benefit, writes
Sally Gillen

‘Private Action, Public Benefit’, a consultation document issued
by the cabinet office, calls for the 400-year-old definition of
charity to be replaced, better information for the public on
charities’ work, and the modernisation of the role of the
Charity Commission.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has welcomed the report, arguing that
its package of measures will “modernise the law and enable a wide
range of organisations to be more effective and innovative”.

Stuart Etherington, the chief executive of the National Council
of Voluntary Organisations, described the report as “a great boost
for the charity sector”.

He added: “It is long overdue that all organisations that wish
to become charities as well as those already in possession of
charitable status should have to demonstrate the public benefit
they provide.”

Stephen Bubb, chief executive of the Association of Chief
Executive of Voluntary Organisations, said: “This review, together
with the Treasury report’s recognition of ACEVO’s
funding message, is a major step forward. It is good to see the
government placing the sector firmly on the national agenda.”

A full copy of the consultation document is available by clicking

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