Use this page to understand what a charity’s governing document is and what it should include.
Your governing document sets out your charitable purposes and how they should be managed and run.
A charity’s ‘purposes’ is what it is set up to achieve. Your charitable purposes should:
Charities are legally required to follow what is set out in their governing document. This includes making sure that:
Find out more about charitable purposes.
Your governing document should include all the information you need to run your charity, such as:
The name of your governing document and the titles of the trustees are different depending on the legal structure of your charity.
For example, the legal structure of an unincorporated association has a constitution (governing document) and management committee members (title of the trustees).
For each charity legal structure, the table below links to the governing document template on the Charity Commission’s website.
Find out more about the characteristics of the different charity legal structures.
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Last reviewed: 03 June 2021Help us improve this content
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