The ramifications for charity trustees if they fail to update their charity’s objects

The primary duty of a charity trustee is to promote the charitable purposes of their charity, usually as set out in an objects clause in its governing document (for a charitable company, this will be in its articles of association).

If a charity trustee allows the charity’s assets to be applied for a purpose other than the specific charitable purpose it has been set up to pursue, they will have acted in breach of trust and may be personally liable for making good and loss caused to the charity as a result (even if that other purpose is charitable).

It is therefore vital that the charity trustees ensure that the activities of their charity fall with the charitable purposes set out in its objects. Charity trustees should regularly review their charity’s objects to ensure that the charity’s current and proposed activities continue to fall within them. It may be necessary to make changes to the objects to avoid “mission drift”.

For more information and advice, please contact Protima Sikdar-Wood, Head of the Not for Profit sector on Spsw@morrlaw.com / 0208 971 1042.

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