The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has published its statutory guidance document on the public benefit requirement in advance of charity registration beginning in late 2013.

In order for charities to register with the regulator, they must demonstrate that they have exclusively charitable purposes which benefit the public.

The new guidance document outlines what public benefit is, and what charities will need to know in order to meet these requirements.

The Charity Commission held a public consultation on the public benefit requirement earlier this year and was met with a number of concerns.

Namely, some reservations were raised about the registration of charities that were for the advancement of religion.

In response, the Commission said: “We would like to reassure all organisations applying for charitable status that the commission will be evaluating applications on the basis of legislation and case law, and not by judging cultural or religious views. It is not the role of the commission to adjudicate over beliefs.”

Source: Third Sector