The Trustees of Monmouthshire Meadows Group have proposed that MMG should convert its charitable status to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Since its original establishment in 2005, MMG has had the good fortune to become a significant land-owner through the purchase or bequest of two outstanding areas of high species-diversity meadow land. The conversion to a CIO will allow MMG to directly hold the title to its land holdings, rather than indirectly through the UK Charity Commission. There will be no change to the objectives, purpose or operations of MMG.
The advantages are:
- Becoming incorporated as a CIO offers the benefits of limited liability and ‘legal personality’ making it easier to hold property and enter contracts. Before the creation of CIOs in 2013, this would involve becoming a limited company as well as a registered charity
- With the advent of CIOs, charities no longer have to face dual regulation if they incorporate and are simply monitored by the Charities Commission, instead of being regulated by the Charity Commission and Companies House – reducing red tape and other costs associated with reporting and governance
- For membership charities (like MMG), the email communication regime with members is much more flexible than it is for companies
The new constitution has to abide by the Charity Commission’s ‘model constitution but the Trustees have judged that there would be no material difference. The new constitution contains much more standard legalize to cover all eventualities. It covers new methods to embrace the modern age of electronic communications, and updates for new rules on data protection.
Under the existing MMG Constitution, conversion to a CIO will require approval of one tenth of MMG membership (which is currently 21 including the Trustees). The existing and proposed MMG Constitution documents are available to download here.
Voting on the conversion to a CIO will take place at the next AGM.