There are changes ahead for charities as the second wave of measures introduced under the Charities Act 2006 came into force in October 2009.
One important change is the creation of ‘exempt’ charities, which will not be registered with or governed by the Charity Commission. These will be larger public institutions with charitable ends, such as museums and universities.
The biggest change, however, will be the ability for a charity to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), which will permit limitation of liability for the charity’s officers and members in a simpler structure than is now possible. In principle, this would seem to be an excellent idea, but there is a potential downside, which is that suppliers and others might be more cautious in their approach to the charity as they could perceive the new structure as representing a greater commercial risk than was the case when the charity was an ‘unlimited’ organisation.