Philanthropy

Jersey Approves Charities Law To Tighten Up Governance

Anna Hallissey Reporter London 22 July 2014

Jersey Approves Charities Law To Tighten Up Governance

Jersey’s status as a centre for philanthropic enterprise has been strengthened following the introduction of the Charities Law on the island last week.

Jersey’s status as a centre for philanthropic enterprise has been strengthened following the introduction of the Charities Law on the island last week.

Approved by the States of Jersey on 18 July, the new law provides a framework for international charitable and philanthropic enterprises whilst inserting governance and accountability.

Charities must pass certain criteria to be able to use the term "charity" and "charitable" under the law, with only registered charities able to use the term. Restrictions will be put in place on non-registered entities that engage in public fund-raising activities.

Furthermore, registered charities must undergo a "charity test" as determined by the charity commissioner. To pass, a charity must prove that it only has charitable services and provides public benefit.

Those in control of charities, such as governors, trustees, directors or foundation council members, must ensure the charity delivers public benefit while pursuing charitable purposes in accordance with the law.

The introduction of the law will help to further Jersey’s already-standing philanthropic offering with a stronger system in place to support it. According to Jersey Finance, the Channel Island’s international finance centre, around a third of foundations formed in Jersey are directed towards philanthropic activity.

“For some time, Jersey has evidenced a strong philanthropic element as part of its wealth management services, largely through its well-used trusts, foundations and corporate vehicles. This new law, however, will add a welcome degree of clarity and structure to Jersey’s charitable framework,” Geoff Cook, chief executive of Jersey Finance, said in a statement.

“The new law achieves the sophisticated balance between the flexibility required by industry and the governance and accountability required by the giving public,” he added.

Philanthropic endeavours are an increasingly pertinent aspect of investing for the wealthy. However, in Capgemini and RBC’s World Wealth Report 2014, the importance UK high net worth individuals place on generating positive social impact with their assets falls shy of the global average.

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