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Charitable trust

A charitable trust (also known popularly as a charity) is a non-profit organisation or trust which has been registered with the government of a country, and which has to account for its activities (especially financial) to the government, usually on an annual basis. There is normally an obligation to register a non-profitable charitable organisation as the public is entitled to some oversight of organisations that wish to act for the public good. In the United States because of the principle of separation of church and state churches and other religious organisations are often exempt from this legal requirement, though they are often overseen by a church hierarchy. A foundation can also be a charity, though in the United States there are complex tax law differences between private foundations and public charities. The use of the word foundation in an organization's name does not impart any legal benefit, generally speaking.

Table of contents
1 Charities in different countries
2 List of charities
3 See also
4 External links: for evaluations of charities

Charities in different countries


Canada has over 75,000 registered charities. Of which more than 40% are places or worship such as churches and mosques. Other registered charities include institutions such as universities and libraries. About 23% of registered charities exist to help the disadvantaged. Annual giving in Canada is over $90 billion CDN, if one puts a dollar figure on volunteer time. The most charitable province is Newfoundland, which has the highest rate of individual donations per capita. Canadians give, on average, $239 dollars per year to charity. About one third of Canadians volunteer annually and 5% of corporations make donations. In Canada about two-thirds of the funding for charitable foundations comes from the government.

The level of government funding has recently caused controversy as cutbacks have lead to problems with such programmes as food banks. Another controversy is the denial of charitable status to environmental and political groups. There have also been calls for greter regulation of the charitable sector. Recent years have seen a new breed of charities that pour most of their donations into marketing. These groups grow quickly and attract many donors but a far smaller fraction of each donation goes to help the needy.

United States

In the United States of America, the Attorney General of each state maintains a Registry of charitable organizations.Donations to charities in the United States are deductable for income tax purposes if the organization has exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, usually under sec. 501(c)(3) of the Tax Code.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, there is the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

List of charities

See: List of charities

See also

External links: for evaluations of charities