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Relief of poverty: Examples of wording for purpose clauses
Updated December 2007
Here are some examples of wording used by charitable organisations to show how they fit with the "relief of poverty" charitable purpose.
You should also read Charities Services' information sheet Rules and the Charities Act.
Purpose clauses, often called "objects" clauses, state what your organisation aims to achieve.
Your rules should include a list of your organisation's purposes and should begin with the organisation's primary or main purposes.
You may wish to show how your organisation's purposes fit with the four categories of charitable purpose like this:
- "To relieve poverty by"
- "To advance education by"
- "To advance religion by"
- "To be beneficial to the community by"
Relief of poverty
To be charitable under this category, your organisation's purpose must:
- be directed at people who are poor, in need, aged, or suffering genuine hardship; and
- provide relief.
The law uses a broad interpretation of the meaning of "poverty".
People who are in need, aged, or who are suffering genuine financial hardship from a temporary or long-term change in their circumstances are likely to qualify for assistance.
Generally, this includes anyone who does not have access to the normal things of life that most people take for granted.
The people who you provide "relief" to should have
- an identifiable need arising from their circumstances that requires support and
- difficulty in addressing that need themselves.
Examples of wording
Here are some examples of wording used by charitable organisations to show how they fit with the "relief of poverty" charitable purpose:
To relieve poverty
- by providing basic amenities, including food, clothing and shelter to (for example, one or more of) the poor, needy, necessitous, underprivileged, low income, those in financial need and of small/limited means
- by providing the poor with a food bank
- by operating and maintaining a shelter for the homeless and by providing counselling and other similar programmes
- by providing and operating nonprofit residential accommodation and incidental facilities exclusively for:
- persons of low income
- senior citizens primarily of low or modest income
- by providing food and other basic supplies to persons of low income, by establishing, operating and maintaining shelters for the homeless, and by providing counselling and other programmes.