The Captain Tom Foundation has been registered as a charity for less than two years (it was set up not long before Captain Tom died) and yet it has already come to the attention of the Fundraising Regulator, the Charity Commission and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Surely this highlights the perils of registering a charity on the crest of the wave of fame and dealing with possible loss and bereavement.
Contrary to what you might have heard it is relatively easy (most of the time!) to register a charity, especially if you use one of the Charity Commission's model governing documents and one of their standard objects. The real problems come, once a charity is registered, with running it effectively and in compliance with charity law, fundraising regulations and GDPR - to name but a few. It is hard work and the compliance issues are often complex and time-consuming. Anyone specialising in establishing and working with charities will be very familiar with the situation where a family seeks to process the loss/imminent loss of a close family member or friend by establishing a charity in their memory. Whilst focussing time and energy in this way can indeed help the bereavement process it is not necessarily the right way to meet a charitable need. There are many well run, long-established charities that are leaders in their field, who would be delighted to link with a family seeking to raise funds and mark the passing of a family member, to ensure they are not forgotten. Adding to the 169,000 already registered charities in England and Wales and ensuring that a new charity is well run and compliant with all of the relevant laws and regulations, is not necessarily the right move. Those left behind can find the burdens of trusteeship too much to bear, they may discover that they lack the necessary skills and, if they are not careful, find the name of the person they sought to immortalise now in newspaper headlines they would rather not read.
the chair of trustees at the Foundation, told Civil Society News that the charity had worked closely with regulators to resolve these issues, and that it had not received any fines or formal warnings