Answers to frequently asked questions.
For the Public
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The General Section of the register encompasses a wide range of charities, including community groups, religious charities, schools, grant-giving charities, and major care providers. The Register also includes a Restricted Section for charities that do not solicit donations from the general public but nevertheless meet the charity test and a Historic Section for those charities that have been deregistered.
To qualify for charity status, an entity must have a written constitution and either be a Jersey entity or carry out substantial activity in or from Jersey. It needs to meet the ‘charity test,’ having only charitable purposes and providing public benefit in Jersey or elsewhere to a reasonable degree.
No, under the 2014 Law, fundraising appeals specifically for named individuals or groups will not qualify as registered charities. Appeals must provide sufficient public benefit, and those benefiting only specific individuals are considered to provide “private” benefit.
The Jersey Charity Commissioner decides if an organisation meets the criteria for charitable status and monitors its compliance with the law.
Yes, foreign entities can apply if they carry out substantial activity in or from Jersey and meet specific criteria.
Registered charities gain public trust, tax benefits, and recognition, but they also acquire legal responsibilities and duties.
The Jersey Charity Commissioner considers whether your organisation’s purposes are exclusively charitable and provide public benefit to a reasonable degree. Details are in Guidance Note 2.
The charity register holds essential information about each registered charity. It is generally open to public inspection, allowing people to learn about the purposes, finances, and public benefit activities of registered charities in Jersey and the names of the people who control the charity (the Governors)
Public inspection of the charity register promotes transparency and allows individuals to gain insights into the goals, financial practices, and charitable activities of registered organisations in Jersey.
An organisation must have a written constitution and meet the ‘charity test.’ This means that it has exclusively charitable purposes and does or will provide public benefit to a reasonable degree in Jersey or elsewhere. It must also be entered on the Jersey Charity Register to refer to itself as a “Charity”.
You can use the provided form to raise concerns about a charity with the Commissioner. By submitting your concern, you accept the Commissioner’s authority to make a final decision based on the way the office operates.
While updates are not provided, the Commissioner will complete inquiries and inform you of the outcome in general terms once investigations are finished.
Yes, if you need assistance or have questions about the form, you can contact the Commissioner’s office.
Charity governors have control and management of a charity, ensuring it fulfils its purposes and provides public benefit. They must act in line with the charity’s constitution, follow laws, report changes, and handle conflicts of interest.
A charity in Jersey is an organisation entered on the Public Register, which meets the ‘charity test,’ having charitable purposes and providing public benefit.
An organisation may fail the test if its constitution allows non-charitable purposes, political involvement, or if it lacks public benefit or provides private benefit that might be more than incidental.
Consider the benefits and duties of charity status, as well as alternative options that suit your organisation’s needs.
Refer to Guidance Note 3a for application requirements under the Law. You’ll need the organisation’s governing document, governor’s declaration, and latest accounts.
The Commissioner’s Office can offer general guidance on the application process but cannot help set up your charity.
Check that you are using the correct username and password. The username is contained in the email sent to you as a reminder when it is time to file your return. If you still can’t access your account, send an email to email@example.com leaving a number we can contact you on and we will call you back to access your account.
The person who filed our last annual return has left the organisation and now I need to file our next return. What do I need to do?
All charities registered in Jersey must submit an annual return to the Jersey Charity Commissioner. This applies equally to those entered in the public part of the register and those entered in the restricted section. Each registered charity will receive an automatic reminder from the Commissioner’s Office on the anniversary of its date of registration. Its annual return must be received by the Commissioner within two months from that date. You can read the Commissioner’s Guidance on completing your annual return in Guidance Note 4.
Soliciting donations from the general public should be accurately represented, clearly indicating the intended charitable purpose and recipient. Adequate control measures and safeguards are recommended to ensure accountability and prevent loss or theft of donations.
Yes, any person or organisation planning a public charitable collection must obtain permission from the Bailiff and the relevant Parish. More information on the required procedures can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, they can be paid, but conditions must be met and be in the charity’s best interest. Declarations of payments must be made to the Jersey Charity Commissioner and appear on the public register for charities in the general section of the register.
A ‘conflict of interest’ may arise when a charity governor’s personal interests influence decisions about the charity. In such cases, the charity’s interests must take precedence, and transparent actions must be taken and recorded.
Failure to fulfil duties can be considered misconduct under the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014. The Jersey Charity Commissioner has powers to take action, including serving a Required Steps Notice or referring the matter to the Court.
A Governor’s Declaration is a confirmation that no reportable matter applies to a charity governor. It’s a requirement for charity registration and annual returns.
A reportable matter could result in disqualification, loss of governor role, or even criminal charges. Charity governors must promptly report any such matters to the Jersey Charity Commissioner.
For any doubts or questions, it’s advisable to contact the Jersey Charity Commissioner’s office or seek professional advice to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.