Charitable Status, a opportunity for Chess Clubs

First I like to mention that this is not a nonsense idea: Pimlico Chess Club, London, has got the charitable status! Let's take this as a persuasive precedent. By the way, Chess in Schools and the Communities (CSC) is a UK registered charity, too. So, ist this charitable Status an opportunity for us?


Informations provided by the ECF:

Chess Organisations and Charitable Status (scroll down)
"With effect from April 2008, chess organisations may qualify for charitable status in accordance with new charities legislation, Charities Act 2006. This Act extends the scope of charitable purposes to include the advancement of amateur sport."
"Sport is defined in the Act as ‘sports or games which promote health by involving physical or mental skill or exertion’. In Parliamentary debate, the Government recognised that chess satisfied this definition and it is anticipated that the Charity Commission will adopt this position."
"It is anticipated that chess organisations will qualify for charitable status provided that they meet the public benefit requirements."
The  has issued a Registration Application Pack, to help organisations looking to apply for registration. It contains an application form, a trustee declaration form, guidance notes and a copy of the Commission’s advice on the responsibilities of trustees.

Publications by the Charity Commission:

Setting up and running a charity

How to set up a charity (CC21a)
Charity types: how to choose a structure (CC22a)
How to write your charity's governing document (CC22b)
How to write charitable purposes
How to choose a charity name
Get funding to start a charity
How to register a charity (CC21b)

Charity trustee: what’s involved
Trustee board: people and skills

Public benefit: rules for charities

Example: Small Charity Constitution

The essential trustee: what you need to know (CC3)

Charitable Status and Chess Clubs

What makes a charity (CC4)
Every chess club fulfills at least these of the 13 porposes:
- (b) the advancement of education
- (g) the advancement of amateur sport
Every chess club fulfills the Equality Act and the Human Rights
A charity’s ‘purposes’ are what it is set up to achieve:
- integrating people from all over the world
- socializing people of all gender, sex, colour, age, ...
- keeps everybodys brain young: 10 big brain benefits of playing chess
- Health Benefits of Playing Chess:
    -- Grows dendrites
    -- Exercises both sides of the brain
    -- Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
    -- Helps treat schizophrenia
    -- Improves children’s thinking and problem-solving skills
    -- Builds self-confidence
    -- Helps with rehabilitation and therapy
(to be continued...)
Conclusion: a chess club meets the required criteria

Advantages and Disadvantages

Benefits for a chess club

- increased public recognition
- increased trust in the organisation, i.e. chess club
- ability to claim gift aid on donations
- Tax relief: no corporation tax on profits


- Charities cannot raise equity investment: chess clubs don't have the money for investments
- Committee members (= trustees) won't be paid, but there are exceptions: none of our committee members is paid
- Trustees need to avoid any situation where charitable and personal interests conflict
- Administration requirements imposed upon charities
- Annual Returns and financial reporting: we do the accounts already and present them at the AGM
- Limited trading: as far as i know, no chess club does any trading
- Exclusively charitable, i.e. non charitable activities are not possible: as chess is a cheritable game, there are no other activities
- limitations of political or campaigning activities, of course chess is a non-political game


Conclusion: the advantages and benefits for chess clubs are overwhelming

Additional information