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Charity Commission services

The Charity Commission provide a range of specific services to charities for which our guidance is set out below:


Changing your charity’s governing document

When a charity is formed, its purposes and the rules for how it should operate are set down in a governing document. Founders aim to ensure that a governing document serves the charity well for the foreseeable future, and allows for changing circumstances. However sometimes new needs and unforeseen eventualities will develop and the governing document may need updating to reflect these changes.

This guidance is aimed at trustees who are considering amending their charity’s governing document. It summarises how such changes can be made.

Changing your Charity’s Governing Document – CC36 (November 2008)

Ex gratia payments

‘Ex gratia payment’ describe payments made by a charity in particular circumstances, where the trustees believe that they are under a moral obligation to make the payment but are not under any legal obligation to make the payment; and where they have no power under the charity’s governing document to make the payment; and cannot justify the payment as being in the interests of the charity.

This guidance describes the procedures which charity trustees must follow when they wish to make an ex gratia payment out of the charity's funds.

Ex gratia payments CC7 (December 2001)

Official custodian

Many charities use the services of the Official Custodian for Charities (the Official Custodian) to hold the title to land on their behalf. This helps charities to avoid many of the legal problems which can arise when a charity owns land, particularly if the charity does not have the status of a company.

The Official Custodian for Charities - A basic guide to the roles and responsibilities (March 2007)

This guidance is intended to explain to charity trustees and their advisers the role of the Official Custodian.

“The Official Custodian for Charities’ Land Holding Services” (CC13) (September 2004) goes into more detail about how to apply to use the Official Custodian’s services.

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