Press release: Regulatory case report published involving The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

The Charity Commission has today published a report on a regulatory case involving The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (‘JRCT’), registered charity number 210037.

The commission opened this case to establish whether grants made to Cage, a non-charitable organisation, were in furtherance of the charity’s purposes, and to ensure the charity’s trustees had complied with their duties under charity law.

The commission believes it was the charity’s intention to fund programmes that were capable of furthering charitable purposes. However, the commission found that, in the circumstances, it was difficult to see how the trustees could have been sufficiently assured that the monies given to Cage were used for exclusively charitable purposes. The commission concluded that improvements to the charity’s processes and procedures were needed to ensure robust scrutiny and control of funds, particularly when giving grants to non-charitable bodies. During the regulatory case, the trustees proactively took a number of steps to make such improvements.

The case concluded in 2014. However, the commission engaged again with JRCT in March 2015 following public statements made by Cage which attracted public criticism and concern. This engagement was the subject of judicial review proceedings brought by Cage in June 2015, in which JRCT was an interested party, and concluded by agreement in October 2015. The report published today was put on hold during this process.

The commission’s full report is available on GOV.UK along with a report on a separate case involving a different charity which also funded Cage, The Roddick Foundation, registered charity number 1061372.

The commission recently published draft guidance for trustees of charities wanting to make grants to non-charitable organisations. The consultation on this guidance closed on 8 April 2016. The commission is currently reviewing the consultation responses received.



Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about its work, see the annual report.
  2. Search for charities via the commission’s online register.
  3. Details of how the commission reports on its regulatory work can be found on GOV.UK.
  4. The case into JRCT was opened in September 2013 following a complaint about its funding of Cage; the commission established in the course of its enquiries that The Roddick Foundation had also funded Cage; the commission opened a separate case into The Roddick Foundation in March 2014. Both case reports are published today.
  5. The commission’s draft guidance on ‘Grant funding an organisation that isn’t a charity’ was published on 17 February 2016 for consultation until 8 April 2016 (see press release and draft guidance).

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