Transferring a charitable trust
We are working with the Charity Commission to transfer up to £20 million of dormant or inactive trusts to Community Foundations to invest in good causes. Announced as part of the Government’s Civil Society Strategy, the Revitalising Trusts initiative is expected to provide an extra £1 million in grant funding to local community and voluntary groups every year.
There are many inactive charitable trusts in England and Wales. The founders and trustees may have passed away and many of the funds are now relatively small sums of money which makes it difficult to ensure they have a meaningful impact. Collectively however, these trusts hold a significant amount which could make a huge different to local communities.
Should I transfer a trust?
The Revitalising Trusts initiative encourages all charities to ask themselves whether they should work with Community Foundations as an alternative to continuing, particularly if the following statements apply to your trust:
- We find it difficult to identify beneficiaries
- We cannot spend the income of the charity
- We find ourselves providing money to the same people or groups every year
- We find it difficult to attract trustees
- We would like to be involved in how the money is spent but we do not want the legal responsibility of being a trustee
- The work of administering the charity and its investment is becoming onerous or disproportionate to the level of funding
- We wish that we knew more about local issues and opportunities and who else was funding what
Why work with a Community Foundation?
Community Foundations are established, trusted charities with an unprecedented knowledge of their areas, the most pressing local issues and the groups tackling these on the ground.
They manage funds on behalf of thousands of individuals and businesses, providing help and advice to those who want to give at the heart of their communities, both now and in the long-term. They match donors and partners to important local causes.
“I was a little sceptical at first, as I didn’t want our family trust to lose its identity; I wanted it to continue in the way that we had set it up and to retain some involvement in where the money was spent. To my relief, when I discussed my concerns with the Foundation, I discovered that they were as keen as I was to ensure that the fund stayed true to its purpose and that I could remain as involved as I wanted.” – Donor who transferred a charitable fund in her father’s name to Essex Community Foundation.
Get in touch
If you are a trustee and would like to know more about how your local Community Foundation can help rejuvenate the assets of an ineffective trust fund, or take over trusteeship of your active trust fund with its current objectives, please contact Toni Shaw, Trust Transfer Associate to UK Community Foundations, at firstname.lastname@example.org. or 07471 689910. More information about closing Trusts can be found on the Charity Commision’s website.