Charitable Trusts



A Charitable Trust is quite different from a Family Trust. To be valid it has to be established for one, or more, of four specific charitable purposes:

  • The relief of poverty;
  • The advancement of education;
  • The advancement of religion; or,
  • Other purposes beneficial to the community.

This means that while a Family Trust can be established for private purposes, a Charitable Trust must have some element of public function. When set up correctly, it can also obtain a favourable tax status which means any charitable giving is maximised.

Many charitable Trusts have specified beneficiaries. Sometimes these are ‘discretionary’, which means the Trustees or an advisory group decide where grants are distributed. In such cases, the Trustees may apply for funds with publicly listed charities and organisations.

There are also additional administrative requirements in managing a Charitable Trust, particularly around registration and reporting.

We’ve been managing Charitable Trusts for over 100 years here at Perpetual Guardian. Today, we manage over 50 Charitable Trusts and distribute $40 million per year. On top of this, we also provide investment expertise, an investment fund for charities, advice on granting policies and processes for reviewing the effectiveness of any charitable grants.

If a Charitable Trust isn’t the right fit for you, the Perpetual Guardian Foundation is another way you can satisfy your charitable intent. Find out more here.

Want to find out more about setting up a Charitable Trusts or getting involved with the Foundation? Get in touch.