Charities receive £32m through dormant charity bank accounts

More than £32m in dormant charity bank account money has been ‘revitalised’ for good causes, including voluntary sector responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative has been run since 2018 by the Charity Commission with UK Community Foundations and backed by funding from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS).

The Charity Commission has also announced that it has secured further funding from the DDCMS until March 2021 for the scheme and is to target around 500 more inactive charities.

Those targeted are either inactive, meaning they have had no income or expenditure in the last five years, or ineffective, by spending less than 30% of its total income over the same period.

So far more than 1,800 charities have been identified through the Revitalising Trusts Programme. Once targeted dormant charities will be offered the option of getting back up and running or to divert their remaining funds to good causes.

If trustees fail to respond to a dormant charity account request from the Commission they are wound up and removed from the charity register. Of the 179 charities removed, 67 have been since Covid-19 lockdown and 26 charities have benefitted from their dormant money.

“There is nothing worse than money donated for a good cause not being put to good use,” said Charity Commission chair Baroness Stowell.

“The Charity Commission is calling on trustees of charities that have funds and are inactive or unable to make the difference they once did or had hoped to achieve, to come forward now so that the charity money they hold doesn’t sit idle, but can be put to good use by other charities with similar causes supporting people and communities at this time of heightened need.”
Charities that are ineligible for the programme include those that support animals, religious causes or war memorials.

UK Community Foundations chief executive Rosemary Macdonald added: “Community foundations are helping to modernise old trusts and get them back into action - all at a time when our voluntary sector desperately needs financial support to get through this difficult crisis.”

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