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Dr Ian Plummer

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Club Management
Charity Status

Dave Kibble asked: "has anyone changed their club into a charity?"

The replies are offered 'as is' without any guarantee of accuracy; you should check the curent legal status and obtain reliable advice. Each club should approach its own regional officials for help and advice.

Roger Bowen replied:

I believe that the first move, rather than to apply to the Charities Commission for charitable status, is to apply to the Inland Revenue for CASC (Community Approved Sports Club) status. This confers many of the tax advantages of giving to the club in many of its forms without the hassle of satisfying the draconian conditions required as a charity.

The Inland Revenue website gives helpful details.

Also consider if your members need the protection of incorporation as a company limited by guarantee since this confers some advantages if you employ much labour or place largish orders with contractors.

I have requested two things of the CA (The Croquet Association). The first is a better relationship with Sport England so that we have an agreed sport development plan which, in turn, can be used by member clubs to look for funding. The second is some professional advice from a top management consultant regarding tax free or charitable status as described above.

Do not think, however, that you will easily get members' subscriptions under the gift aid rules but you may well get donations and bequests plus 25% and some advantages, too, for the donor.

Another correspondent added:

Some of the comments here are specific to the "Sport England North East" situation and apply only in North East, or restricted areas. The important section for the main question (Section 3) was based on understandings at the time of the seminar, with the Finance Bill then due within days, hence the use of the word "draft"

I attended a Sport England (North East) seminar on funding sources earlier this year, and wrote the following report on its contents for clubs in Croquet North area - some may find it interesting, others irrelevant...

For CHARITABLE STATUS comments, see main section 3.


by Geoff Hughes, Senior Development Manager, SENE


Access to funding is the key issue, with Government / Sport England targets based on "Linking into the Economy", "Social Inclusion (or preventing Social Exclusion)" and "Sport for Good" (i.e. helping health, welfare, community, etc). If you don't fit one of these, you don't get funding. 150m allocated to Sport England, spent as follows:

  • School Sports 4.9m
  • Active Sports 3.1m
  • Space for Sport and Arts 20.6m
  • Sports Action Zones (Wear Valley is one in NE) 1.1m
  • Playing Fields 3.2m
  • PE / School Sport 37.5m

This comes from 3.8p per lottery ticket's 1, and over 60 of the 116 "recognised sports" have had funding so far. 1.1bn capital, 0.1bn revenue nationwide. Revenue funding for instance for School Co-ordinators.

Lottery Strategy is: Two main funds - Community (two-thirds) and World Class (one-third). Half of "Community" fund goes to "areas of greatest need". Have to improve in at least on of following:

  • Young People
  • Ethic Minorities
  • Women and Girls
  • People with Disabilities

Areas of Greatest Need

North East targets: Priority Areas (the 50% of Community Fund) 238 small projects (<250K) - NOT YET MET

60 large projects (>250K) - LARGELY MET

19 Educational Sites - LARGELY MET therefore emphasis on small projects

Local Authority has to be involved - it has to be a partnership to meet the goals, e.g.: Sports Halls, Pavilions, Club Houses, Swimming Pools, Artificial Turf

Upgrade of facilities to increase participation

Can do Large Items of Equipment (but "non-personal"). Examples: Allendale Cricket Club, Rothbury Recreation Centre, Summerhill (Hartlepool) Outdoor Adventure Park, Wear Valley Skateboard Park, Skelton Castle, Teesside, Cricket Club Stanley, Indoor Bowls Centre,

HOW TO DO IT: Intent Form (08457 649 649) Pre-application advice If you meet the priorities - go on to Stage 2, otherwise REJECT If Stage 2, decision in few months, and that's when planning expenses really start.


Re-launched April 2002 Regional forms, 12-week assessment. Capital, Revenue or combination, value between 500 and 5000, and no need for obtaining any matching money. Must spend money within one year. Must meet one of these three aims:

  • Extend Access and Participation
  • Increase Skill and Creativity
  • Improve Quality of Life

Club must have constitution and accounts and turnover <20K pa List of ideas provided includes TRAINING COURSES

Focus in NE includes: OLDER PEOPLE (the only mention all evening) WOMEN

HOW TO DO IT: 0845 600 2400 http://awardsforall.org.uk for application pack Seminars in Sept - Oct, JOANNE EDWARDS, Stockton / Durham / Newcastle, I have expressed an interest.


REVENUE only - >5K up to 30K pa for up to 5 years Aim "to increase participation amongst people who otherwise do not participate". Have to have a "then what" as part of the project plan for when grant stops. Covers PEOPLE, DEVELOPMENT FUND (don't understand how, really), EXPERT ADVICE, EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Requires partnership funding (local authority?). Settled by Regional Prioritisation, board meets next on 30 August, project plans in by 22 November, 12-week decision period. Contact LUCY HALL 0191 375 3123 in Sport England North East


Looks like our only hope is continuing to use AWARDS FOR ALL - a question at the end suggested limit was to increase to 10K, and limit of one award per year was to be relaxed - Hughes denied both. At least the aim there includes OLDER PEOPLE. We don't know whether we're one of the "recognised sports" for the other categories. A question concerning replacing equipment (he called it "revenue", don't know how) also mentioned FOUNDATION FOR SPORT AND ARTS as another option.


by Jen McKevitt

Does not really apply to us, despite having many designated "wards" in our area.


by Ian Gardiner

Sport England will direct enquirers to best advice as it build up its own expertise. CCPR may give recommendations, SE will not. If club has property can get Discretionary Rate Relief. From 2002 Budget (Finance Act law this month?) can EITHER get Tax Relief direct OR apply for Charitable Status (not both). DRAFT Inland Revenue option appears to be: Have to apply to register Constitution, amateur, open to all (but can select logically and have waiting lists), non-profit

Purpose is PARTICIPATION One of "recognised sports" then you get Tax Relief on PROFITS INCOME FROM PROPERTY INTEREST Can use GIFT AID

CHARITABLE STATUS is now possible as they have just recognised SPORT as a "charitable object", but it has to be "healthy" and FLYING, ANGLING, MOTOR SPORTS, SNOOKER all barred - even so-called "dangerous sports" are doubtful (are they healthy?).

NOT recommended for us really.


by Claire Jones, SENE, on behalf of Sportsmatch who could not attend.

Have to get sponsorship, with contracts / benefits, i.e. not donations. Not really us. Can work for an Annual Event as long as sponsor gets benefits and it's new money in the firm's budget.


by Sue O'Brien

All FOOTBALL based - not croquet.


by Sue Vaughan

Do not recognise sport yet, but as it is now charitable, may do so - trustees meet August to discuss. More concentrating on people rather than grounds, question from Percy Park RFC made that clear.

Author: Roger Bowen et al
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Updated 16.vii.17
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