‘Ensuring A Well-Governed Charitable Sector’

November 8, 2023 | 0 Comments

As “part of its efforts to further strengthen compliance by charitable organizations, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors today underscored the importance of the Government and charitable organizations working together and doing their respective part to maintain compliance and ensure Bermuda’s Non-Profit Organizational [NPO] sector remains both credible and effective.”

A Government spokesperson said, “As Minister responsible for the effective governance of the Charities Act 2014 [the Act], “I can state that the Government is committed to ensuring a well-governed and thriving charitable sector with strong public support in Bermuda”.

“Under the Act, the Charity Commissioners are the Committee with legislative authority to ensure that all non-profit organizations meet the legislative requirements imposed on them under the Act. This is critically important so that Donors can have confidence that the charitable organizations they support are operating effectively and are delivering the services for which they promised to the public.

“The Charities Commission are intentional in their deliberations:

  1. To promote compliance by governing board members and key officers with their legal obligations and management of the administration of their charities;
  2. To promote good governance, best practices, and the effective use of charitable resources; and
  3. To ensure regulatory governance, compliance, and the accountability of charities to donors, beneficiaries and the general public.

“In turn, all charities must ensure that their organizations are well-governed, well-run, and also accountable and transparent in their reporting to stakeholders.

“The registration of a Charity starts with completing an Application to Register a Charity and then submitting all documents required to the Registry General along with:

  • a copy of the charity’s constitution, which must have a dissolution clause;
  • a copy of the charity’s bank mandate that requires financial transactions be approved by at least two independent trustees; and,
  • a signed Charity Trustee Declaration Form for each Trustee.
  • A copy of each Trustee’s government-issued ID

“Renewal of charitable status or re-registration requires the submission of an Application to Register a Charity to the Registrar. This must be submitted 30 days prior to the expiration of the Certificate of Registration. When reviewing an application for re-registration, the Charity Commissioners will take into consideration the charity’s history of compliance with the relevant legislation which includes whether it has met the annual reporting requirements under the Act.

“Every registered charity is required under, the Act, to file an Annual Report using the form posted on the Registry General’s website. Trustees should include a detailed account of the organization’s activities over the past 12 months and plans for the upcoming year. In order to satisfy the annual reporting requirements, all charities must submit the following to the Registrar General within six months of their financial year end:

  • a completed Annual Report for Charities;
  • annual financial statements signed by the Treasurer and one other officer of the charity;
  • the relevant annual fee; and,
  • Charity Trustee Declaration Form [new trustees only]

“The content of the financial statements required will depend on the annual income and/or asset value of the charity.

“All registered charities must operate for the benefit of the public. This public benefit must be detailed and very clear upon application for registration and in annual reports. The Registrar General has issued a Charitable Purposes and Public Benefit Guidance to assist charities with meeting this requirement. The submission of this detailed information is to ensure all charities function credibly.

“Both the Government and Charitable organizations have a joint responsibility to maintain the confidence and trust of donors and the general public. To this end, the Government is currently preparing additional guidance notes for both new registrations and re-registrations.

“The Ministry of Social Development and Seniors encourages all prospective and registered charities to visit the Government’s website at https://www.gov.bm/content/register-charity; prepare a checklist so that the legislative requirements are fully met when applying to be a registered charity, filing annual reports or re-registering.

“For further information email charityinfo@gov.bm or call 297-7739.”

Read More About

Category: All

Leave a Reply