More charities in England and Wales urged to join the Revitalising Trusts programme

Revitalising Trusts is a programme that takes funds lying dormant in the accounts of inactive or ineffective charities and puts them to good use. The programme is managed by the Charity Commission and the charity UK Community Foundations (UKCF), with funding from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Since its launch in 2018 the programme has ‘revitalised’ £32 million to help good causes – including charities that are responding to the coronavirus and supporting their communities.

The Commission has so far removed 179 charities from the Charity Commission register – 67 since lockdown – transferring funds to similar charities, to local Community Foundations or to UK Community Foundations, and revitalised 26 charities.

The programme has now secured funding by DCMS until March 2021 and will reach out to around 500 more inactive trusts in the year ahead, to help communities in need.

Funds are released from charities that are either inactive (meaning have had no income or expenditure over the last 5 years) or ineffective (spent less than 30% of total income over the last 5 years).

Once identified as dormant, the Commission gives the trustees an option to act – with support to help trustees get back up and running if needed. Otherwise the funds are redeployed to causes in line with the aims of the dormant charity or the trust is transferred to a local community foundation to be managed for the long term benefit of local communities.

The money is granted to charities in need, as well as used to create a regular income stream that will sustain their work to help communities for years. And the income from the investments is hitting the front line already, with many charities depending on this to help them support essential causes through the pandemic.

The programme, which began in January 2018, has so far contacted over 1,800 charities. In many cases the programme has helped them get back on track, but when trustees have failed to respond, the Commission has intervened to wind up the charity and remove it from the register of charities.

Charities falling within the programmes criteria and seeking support in helping to get their charity operating again can contact the Revitalising Trusts Programme for advice and support on at:

Charities that have objectives to support animals, religious causes or war memorials are the only charities not yet eligible for the programme.

The full article on Revitalising Trusts can be found on the GOV.UK website.