Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is the first Jersey Charity to be registered under new Law
At a ceremony at Jersey Zoo on 12 September, Jersey’s Charity Commissioner, John Mills CBE, presented Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s CEO, Dr Lesley Dickie with a certificate of registration as Jersey’s first registered charity under the arrangements of the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014.
The new regulatory regime commenced in earnest on the 1st May 2018 when organisations started applying to the Commissioner for registration as Jersey Charities. In the first four months since the online application process opened, nearly 200 organisations have created online applications with 50 submitting them for approval by the Commissioner. Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is the first charity to gain approval and as such, will be posted on the public register of charities which the public will be able to view via the Commissioner’s website at charitycommissioner.je
Speaking today Mr Mills said:
“I am delighted to be able to present the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust with their certificate of registration as Jersey’s first Registered Charity. The important work of the Trust in the advancement of environmental protection is known across the globe and they can now add being the “number one” charity on the register to their long list of accolades in supporting endangered species around the world”
Commenting on the news, Dr Dickie said:
“It is a huge honour for Durrell to be recognized as the first registered charity in Jersey. This island has been Durrell’s home for nearly sixty years and this recognition of our charitable work allows us to continue our vital mission of saving species from extinction. I would also like to thank all our visitors, members, donors and supporters who believe in our vision for creating a wilder, healthier more colourful world.”
In relation to the registration process, Mr Mills added:
“In the coming days, I will be approving a number of other charities but today was an excellent opportunity to celebrate our first registration. We are currently in dialogue with a number of applicants to help them with their application. It is important to note that there is no rush as there will be no impact on the current tax reliefs enjoyed by any charity in the short term provided that it has applied for registration by the end of 2018 even if that registration has not been determined by the end of the year. Subject to that, such an organisation’s continuing entitlement to preferential tax arrangements will depend upon whether or not it has successfully become a registered charity, which I shall have certified to the Comptroller of Taxes.”
From 2019, being a registered charity will be the only means by which an entity now describing itself thus will be entitled to continue doing that, and, subject to some transitional provisions , continue to obtain all the tax reliefs afforded to charities.
The charity register will contain key information about each charity and, with some limited exceptions, will be fully open to public inspection so that people can if they wish understand more about the purposes, finances and public benefit delivery of the charities that they may wish to support.
Photo call notice
Members of the media are invited to come along to Jersey Zoo to take photos and / or film on Wednesday 12th September. The presentation will start at 2pm.
Notes for Editors
Jersey Charity Commissioner
- The guidance can be found at https://charitycommissioner.je/for-charities/guidance-and-legislation/ alongside other related legislation.
- Mr Mills is available for comment in relation to this press release via Richard Jouault telephone: 07700704934 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The office of Jersey Charity Commissioner is established as a corporation sole by Article 3 of the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014.
- The main general functions of the Commissioner are to:
- administer the charity test and operate the charity register as established by the Law
- encourage, facilitate and monitor compliance of registered charities and their governors with the Law
- publish and maintain guidance on the operation of the Law
- do the above as far as practicable in a manner that is proportionate as to the burdens imposed on registered charities but which also serves to protect public trust and confidence in registered charities and is compatible with the encouragement of all forms of charitable giving.
- The Law follows not dissimilar reform of the law of charity a decade ago in England and Wales, and, separately, in Scotland. The charity test element of the Jersey Law is akin to the approach taken in Scotland in requiring a demonstration of public benefit ‘activity’ in giving effect to charitable purposes; it is not exactly the same as the approach taken in England and Wales where charitable status relies on an organisation’s having purposes that are for public benefit, although the underlying concepts of charity and benefit are essentially the same.
- Full details of the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014 can be found on the website at charitycommissioner.je
- At the Law’s heart is a requirement that, for an organisation to be a registered charity, it must have a charitable purpose or purposes as defined in the Law and must also, in effecting those purposes, provide public benefit to a reasonable degree. Any other purposes must be purely incidental or ancillary. There is an explicit presumption that no purpose is for public benefit; the matter must be demonstrated. This is the ‘charity test’ which an organisation will have to meet in order to become a Jersey registered charity. From 2019, (subject to some transitional rules for existing charities approved by the Comptroller of Taxes) only registered charities will be entitled to all the tax reliefs currently available to those bodies designated as ‘charities’, and to style themselves as a Jersey charity.
- There is no charge for registration.
- The full requirements for the ‘charity test’ is set out in the Commissioner’s guidance.
- The charity register will be public and accessible to all without charge. This is save for a restricted section for privately-funded charities that meet a requirement under the Law (to be established in detail in forthcoming regulations) that they neither solicit nor receive donations from the general public. Such bodies will, however, will equally have to meet the charity test in order to be registered and be subject to the Commissioner’s oversight in exactly the same manner as charities on the public register.
- There are 16 charitable purposes set out in the law, some of which have some additional explanatory words. In summary, they are:
- the prevention or relief of poverty
- the advancement of education
- the advancement of religion
for the purposes of Purpose 16 below, advancement of any philosophical belief (whether or not involving belief in a god) is analogous to this purpose
- the advancement of health
this includes prevention or relief of sickness, disease or human suffering
- the saving of lives
- the advancement of citizenship or community development
this includes (i) rural or urban regeneration and (ii) the promotion of civic responsibility, volunteering, the voluntary sector or the effectiveness or efficiency of registered charities
- the advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science
- the advancement of public participation in sport
in this purpose ‘sport’ means sport that involves physical skill and exertion
- the provision of recreational facilities or the organisation of such activities, with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended
this purpose applies only in relation to recreational facilities or activities that are (i) primarily intended for persons who have need of them by reason of their age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage; or (ii), available to members of the public at large or to male and female members of the public at large
- the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation
- the promotion of religious or racial harmony
- the promotion of equality or diversity
- the advancement of environmental protection or improvement
- the relief of those in need by reason of age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage
this includes relief given by the provision of accommodation or care
- the advancement of animal welfare
- any other purpose that may reasonably be regarded as analogous to any of the purposes listed above
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is an international charity working to save species from extinction. Headquartered at Jersey Zoo in the Channel Islands, Durrell focuses on the most threatened species in the most threatened places.
Established by author and conservationist, Gerald Durrell, in 1959, Durrell’s overall aim is for more diverse, beautiful and resilient natural landscapes in which species can thrive and people can enjoy a deeper connection with nature. Their approach concentrates on the rewilding of animals, the rewilding of ecosystems and the rewilding of people.