Charitable Purposes and Objectives

To become a registered charity in England and Wales and the rest of the UK there must be a charitable purpose before a registration can be approved and a registered number issued.

Explanations and case study examples of the 13 approved purposes for charitable activities form part of this collection of articles essays and bits of chit chat.

1.       the prevention or relief of poverty;

2.       the advancement of education;

3.       the advancement of religion;

4.       the advancement of health or the saving of lives;

5.       the advancement of citizenship or community development;

6.       the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;

7.       the advancement of amateur sport;

8.       the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity;

9.       the advancement of environmental protection or improvement;

10.   the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage;

11.   the advancement of animal welfare;

12.   the promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown, or of the efficiency of the police, fire and rescue services or ambulance services;

13.   any  purpose  not covered above but recognisable as charitable

Pre 2008 Charitable Objectives

  1. The relief of hardship
  2. The advancement of education
  3. The advancement of religion
  4. Certain other purposes for the benefit of the community

Operational Notes

The selected examples are indicative and not intended to be exclusive or fully comprehensive. Many large charities have multiple purposes and smaller charities may fit into different purposes that those utilised in the examples. More detailed interpretation of some charities reports, accounts, activities and actions will be covered in more detail in the ‘posts’ section of this site.

It has not always been practical to cover the scope and variety of charities within a purpose as location, scale, motivations, actions and resources can vary considerably.

If in any doubt or for those wanting more information and advice the Charity Commissions all provide services beyond strict and formal regulation. Please check with your Charity Commission.