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5 Things to Consider When Setting up a Charity or Religious Organisation

5 Things to Consider When Setting up a Charity or Religious Organisation

Are you looking to set up a charity or religious organisation? Read this article to see 5 things you should keep in mind.

22nd July 2019
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Setting up any organisation involves a number of considerations. In particular, charities and religious organisations are unique and hence have some additional considerations. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 things to consider when setting up a charity or religious organisation

1. Research Existing Charities or Religions 

It is important to consider whether creating a new organisation is the best way to satisfy your objectives. A charity may already exist that focuses on your objective. Similarly, there may already be a religious organisation of the kind you wish to start nearby. Alternatively, there may be an organisation who is willing to expand into the area you wish to address.

2. Consider your Purpose

Writing down in detail what you would like to achieve with your organisation is important. It will help give clarity to your cause. Having a clear cause and set of objectives is essential to the set-up process. Additionally, some relevant considerations might include: 

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What activities or services will your organisation undertake? 
  • Is there a need for those activities or services? 

3. Resources

How will you fund your new organisation? What set up costs are there? Will you incur ongoing costs? What assets will you need? Will you need to hire anyone? Will you need volunteers? These are all questions which will affect the day to day operation of your organisation. 

4. Promotion

It is also important to consider how you will let people know about your organisation. Both charities and religious organisations are dependent on engaging the time and/or interest of people. If you create an organisation and no one knows about it or chooses to donate or be involved it may struggle to achieve its objectives. Additionally, some questions you might consider are:

  • How will you promote your cause and objectives?
  • What will you do to reach your target audience?
  • How will you encourage people to become involved?
  • Will you need a website or other communication tools? 

5. Legal Issues 

Generally, one of the most important considerations is how you aim to structure your organisation. In some cases, you may wish to register as a company. On the other hand, it is also possible to operate as an incorporated association, a non-trading cooperative or a trust. 

Often your decision may be heavily influenced by whether you can receive charity tax concessions and what other obligations will apply. To fully understand the pros and cons of each structure it may be best to seek professional legal advice

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Alex Moore

Alex is a Legal Tech Intern at Lawpath as part of the Content Team. He is in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Laws with the degree of Commerce (Majors in Entrepreneurship and Accounting) at Macquarie University. He is interested in Corporate and Commercial law.