A charity must be “established for exclusively charitable purposes” – but what does that actually mean? And what differentiates charities from other socially motivated organisations?
Charity Commission registration does not make a charity a charity. It confirms charitable status and having a charity number to prove it can be useful – like when applying for funding. Not all charities can register. Some are exempt and are not directly regulated by the Charity Commission, but have a different principal regulator, e.g. the Department for Education for academy trusts and DCMS for exempt museums. There is also an income threshold, below which charities cannot register, which applies to some forms of charities.
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