The Charities Act 2022 has now passed into law, introducing several technical changes that help trustees to maximise the benefits their charity delivers and reduce regulatory pressures.

Key changes

The changes within the Charities Act are constructive and will have a positive impact on the way charities can operate – specifically for trustees and the capacity they have to make decisions and run their charity.

Here is an overview of some of the main changes for charities and trustees:

  • Governing documents and Royal Charters: can be amended more easily (subject to the Commission and the Privy Council’s approval in certain circumstances);
  • Land disposal: greater access to professional advisers and more straightforward rules on the advice that should be received – saving time and money when disposing of land;
  • Permanent endowments: trustees can borrow a sum of up to 25% of the value of their permanent endowment funds, without the Commission’s approval;
  • Payment of goods: trustees can be paid for goods provided in specific circumstances, without requiring Commission permission – currently trustees can only be paid for supply of services; and
  • Failed appeals: the rules will be simplified and made more proportionate. Charities can spend donations below £120 on similar charitable purposes, without needing to contact individual donors for permission.

Implementing the changes

The Charity Commission will now be focusing on implementing the Charities Act over the coming year. Not all of the changes will be made immediately, as some require secondary legislation, updates to trustee guidance and developments to online digital services.

For the changes that are dependent on the Commission, it is their intention to introduce these between now and the autumn of 2023.

Further information will be released by the Charities Commission as and when specific changes come into force.