The Charities Act 2011 received Royal Assent on 14 December 2011 and came into effect on 14 March 2012. The Act does not actually introduce any new legislation but instead consolidates most of the Charities Acts 1992, 1993 and 2006 and all of the Recreational Charities Act 1958 to make the law relating to charities easier to access and understand.

Any documentation completed before 14 March 2012 will still be valid if it refers to the previous Acts. Various provisions relating to fundraising have not been included in the 2011 Act because it was felt that the rules are more broadly applied to professional and commercial fundraisers as well as charities.

The key point is that the 2011 Act does not contain any new law and charities will not have to do anything differently except, in instances where you would have referred to earlier Acts, to now refer to the Charities Act 2011 in documents, reports, accounts or statements produced on or after 14 March 2012 (even if they relate to an earlier financial period).

David Goepel, Head of Charities & Non-profit

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