A village charity
Your village – Your Maypole – Your Trust
The Barwick-in-Elmet Maypole Trust operates as a charity. All commitee members work on a voluntary basis and no financial (or other) benefits are accepted. All monies donated during fundraising activities are used for the sole purpose of maintaining the maypole and implementing the triennial maypole raising festival. Any expenses incurred by members in the fulfilment of their role may be reimbursed at cost, however these will be clearly documented in the Trust’s accounts.
An unregistered charity
Charities raising less than £5,000 per year are discouraged from registering with the Charities Commission (you can read more information on the subject here). Whilst the Maypole Trust operates as a charity, it’s annual funds are currently below this threshold, so it is not currently registered. At the time of writing, the Trust committee is considering applying for Registered Charity status.
A limited company
Some people may be surprised to learn that the Trust was incorporated as a private limited company at Companies House in 2005. This tends to cause a little confusion, as many (understandably) assume that the role of a company is to make a profit, and that the Trust is somehow profit making. To clarify… the Trust does not operate as a business, it does not aim to make a profit, and it has no paid employees. In addition, the Trust’s charity status means that it is exempt from using the word ‘limited’ in correspondence. The Trust was set up in this way for two reasons:-
1. To safeguard commitee members from financial liabilities (individual members would have otherwise been held personally liable for any claims made against the Trust).
2. To give the Trust a legal personality of its own, enabling it to conduct business in its own name, rather than the name of individual commitee members.
The Trust’s registered company no. is is 05416062. You can use the Companies House webcheck service to view the company details on-line.
Charitable Incorporated Organisations
The law is set to change in the Spring of 2011, and it will be possible for charities to become incorporated directly with the Charities Commission (meaning they will receive the benefits stated above) without the need to be registered at Companies House. The commitee plans to review its position as appropriate and it is possible that the Trust will seek to change its status from a Private Limited Company to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Whilst this will create additional administration, it may also offer certain advantages (such as enhanced credibility with the general public and potential tax benefits). You can read more on this subject here.