Free UK Genealogy is becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation
We will shortly be opening a new organisation: Free UK Genealogy CIO.
CIO is the abbreviation for Charitable Incorporated Organisation (its a standard financial abbreviation, as Ltd. and PLC are). The CIO will have the same objectives and Trustees as the existing Free UK Genealogy. Like the existing organisation, the new organisation will be a registered charity.
Once the new CIO is set up, new contracts will be made with it, rather than with the existing charity. This will include the Transcribers Agreement. The existing contracts will be moved to it when time allows, the assets transferred and the old charity will be wound up after that. Unfortunately it is not legally possible to simply change the existing charity and its contracts to become a CIO.
We are doing this for two reasons: governing an unincorporated charity presents a risk to Trustees because they, personally, are financially liable rather than the charity. It is normal for a charity to change from being unincorporated to incorporated when it starts to employ staff.
The unincorporated status of the current charity also presents a difficult in forming a trading company because only an individual or an incorporated body can hold shares. All the shares in the trading company will be held by the CIO - and all profits will be given to the CIO. We need a separate trading company because while a charity allowed to trade, this is restricted to a small proportion of its income, and we earn most of our income from banner advertising.
You can read more about the kinds of charities on the Charity Commission's pages.