Recognising the valuable contribution made by very small charities the Charity Commission
has launched a new model constitution specifically designed to simplify the framework for charities with an income of under £5000.
The new model constitution is written in plain English and is only 700 words long. It is intended to provide effective governance for very small charities that do not own property or employ members of staff.
Designed to encourage people to get involved with small charitable projects, it enables trustees to have confidence in understanding their governing document.
Charities with an income of under £5000 are not required to register with the Charity Commission, but are still subject to charity laws of England and Wales.
If a charity exceeds the £5000 threshold, wishes to employ people or to purchase a building it will be required to register with the Charity Commission and will therefore need a more substantial constitution.
A number of national charities such as the Women’s Institute and Parent and Teacher Associations, for example, already have their own model constitutions for trustees to use. The constitution is not intended for use in these cases.
Other small non-charitable groups may also adopt the constitution for their own use, although they are not subject to charity laws.