What is a Charitable Trust?
A Charitable Trust is a legal structure that acts as your vehicle for philanthropic giving. It’s specifically designed for charitable purposes, whether it relates to the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, or any other matter that benefits the community. Therefore, a Charitable Trust must have some public function. When set up correctly, it can also obtain favourable tax status, meaning any charitable giving can be maximised.
As with any Trust, you should choose your Trustees carefully. There are additional administrative requirements in managing a Charitable Trust, particularly around registration and reporting. The Trustees are responsible for managing the Trust assets and carrying out the purpose of the Trust. They must observe the duties imposed on them by the Trust Deed, and must act fairly, reasonably and honestly.
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.
Interested in setting up a Charitable Trust?
We’ve been managing Charitable Trusts for over 100 years here at Perpetual Guardian, and have seen how these have continued to benefit New Zealand society. Today, we manage over 500 Charitable Trusts and distribute $40 million per year. 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 you have any questions about Charitable Trusts, or want advice on how to bring your vision to life, get in touch with our Philanthropy team below.