A Trustees’ Annual Report covering any period starting on or after 1 April 2008 must include:
- A report of those activities undertaken by a charity to further its charitable purposes for the public benefit.
- A statement by the charity trustees as to whether they have complied with the duty in section 4 of the Charities Act 2006 to have due regard to the public benefit guidance published by the Charity Commission.
The Charity Commission considers the information provided in the Trustees’ Annual Reports about public benefit to be a useful first step in showing whether a charity’s purposes are for the public benefit, and that those purposes are being carried out. In assessing the public benefit of individual charities, the Charity Commission has stated that it will also:
- Carry out public benefit research studies (showing the extent to which different types of charity are fulfilling the public benefit requirement).
- Work with professional and umbrella bodies (especially in relation to particular charity sub-sectors).
- Carry out detailed assessments of individual charities.
The publication goes on to state, “The Annual Report need not be lengthy. A good Annual Report explains the charity’s aims and how it is going about achieving them. It meets all the legal requirements and provides a balanced view of the charity’s structure, aims, objectives, activities and performance. Importantly, it brings the charity to life and for those charities that rely on voluntary income as their primary source of funding provides donors with the opportunity to understand how their money was spent and the difference it has made.”
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