Charities


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Related to Charities: Red Cross, UNICEF

Charities

Organizations created for the purpose of philanthropic rather than pecuniary pursuits.

A charity is a group designed to benefit society or a specific group of people. Its purpose may be educational, humanitarian, or religious. A charity goes beyond giving relief to the indigent, extending to the promotion of happiness and the support of many worthy causes.

The law favors charities because they promote goodwill and lessen the government's burdens. They are therefore ordinarily exempt from paying income or property taxes.

Charitable Gifts and Trusts

A charitable gift is something that is donated by an individual or organization with the intent to benefit the public or some segment of it as a whole. It is meant for use by an indefinite number of people. Similarly, charitable trusts or public trusts are trusts of religious, political, or general social interests, or for the relief of poverty or the advancement of education.

Charities are ordinarily supported by gifts from donors and most states have set forth statutes controlling the manner in which funds are solicited for charities. In addition, the state will generally require charities to disclose their financial structure and condition.

Charitable gifts are often testamentary, or created by will. If there is a problem in determining the actual donative intent of the testator, the court might have to pass on his or her intent.

Cy Pres is a doctrine applied by a court so that it can carry out a trust made by will for charitable purposes even when the testator's charitable purpose can not be accomplished in the precise manner specified by the testator. For example, if a testator wished to donate money to a certain hospital whose name had changed, for example, this would not defeat the gift. With cy-pres the court would interpret the donor's intent to be to give money to the hospital in spite of the change of name.

Charitable Societies and Institutions

To determine whether an institution is charitable, the test is whether its major purpose is to aid others or to make a profit.

Charitable corporations are nonprofit corporations that have been created to minister to the physical needs of the indigent or to advance a particular goal, such as the aid of a particular religious group or country. In order to receive a tax-exempt status, such organizations must meet certain criteria.

Ordinarily, charitable corporations have no capital stock and they obtain their funds primarily from private and public charity. These funds are held in trust to serve the charitable objects of the institutions.

Beneficial associations also exist mainly for a charitable purpose and not for financial gain.

Religious organizations, such as the Young Men's and Women's Christian Associations and the Salvation Army, are also considered to be charitable societies.

The test for determining whether or not an educational institution is a charitable organization is the question of whether it exists for a public purpose or for a private gain.

While charities may charge a nominal fee for some of their services and still be considered charitable societies, they are organized primarily for the public good and not for profit.

References in periodicals archive ?
It says that unless charities are registered under this Act, they would not be allowed to collect funds.
Here are his tips for leaving gifts to charities in wills: | 1.
The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of more than 8,000 charities. Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data.
In Canada, the federal regulatory regime over charities has grappled with this common law legacy in a number of ways.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland published an alert advising charities to use Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated banking services or risk putting their assets in danger.
and Canada cumulatively produce reports on more than 10,000 local charities using the same standards as the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
And some of Britain's biggest charities were exposed for using high-pressure sales tactics to drum up donations.
The government stated that it was concerned that some charities were exceeding these limitations.
From cancer care and Parkinson's research to animal welfare and dog training for the disabled, the work of so many charities is tireless and generous.
however, only 18 per cent of the charities surveyed had reduced in size in 2012, which was an improvement on 25 per cent having cut back in the previous year.
? All charities registered in England and Wales can be checked on the Charity Commission's online register at www.charitycommission.gov.uk?