Charity law and regulation

Charity law covers the rules relating to the setting up and operation of charities. The main piece of legislation is the Charities Act 2011, which came into effect on 14 March 2012. It sets out how all charities in England and Wales are registered and regulated, and replaces:

  • most of the Charities Acts 1992, 1993 and 2006
  • all of the Recreational Charities Act 1958.

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 strengthens the Charity Commission's protective powers.

Charity law and regulation has always been a key policy area for NCVO. It is the legal and regulatory framework that assures special charitable status. The rewards it brings are only granted to organisations that exist to achieve a particular 'good cause', and do so for public benefit.

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