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Formalising your patient group as a charity: Understanding charity registration

When a patient group is established it is often with the goal of one day formalising as a charity. There are a lot of benefits to registering as a charity early on in the patient group journey; more access to funding opportunities, the opportunity to be more strategic and business-like in operations, and the scope to build sustainability into the infrastructure of the organisation. However, the process of becoming a charity can be a large and daunting task with a lot of steps involved to ensure success with the Charity Commission.

This workshop aims to break down the steps into understandable and relevant chunks with the help of expert trainers. Attendees will learn about all the steps to becoming a registered charity, from clarifying your mission and goals to deciding on the right structure and developing policies and operations.

What does the workshop cover?

Session one: What to know before you start

Day one of the workshop explores an overview of the charity registration process and the steps you need to take before beginning the official process, including:


  • The benefits of registering as a charity
  • Key questions to ask before registering as a charity and doing your research
  • Clarifying your charitable purpose, vision, mission and aims
  • Realistic timelines for charity registration
  • Naming your charity

Session two: Key documents and policies

This session focuses on an overview of the registration process, providing a ‘checklist’ of what you will need to have in place for registration including the key documents and policies you will need.

  • The different types of legal structures and which to choose.
  • What a governing document is and what it contains
  • What key documents and policies you will need to have in place
  • Where to register and what the process actually looks like
  • Good governance practice

    Session three: Understanding operations and finances 

    This session focuses on understanding how your charity will operate in the early stages. 

    • Financial essentials: Charity bank accounts, financial security and fundraising platforms
    • Operational considerations to make moving forward including planning for remote working, staff and volunteer management, software provisions
    • Case study from Nick Sireau. The CEO and chair of AKU Society, Chair of Beacon and founder of Orchard OCD

    Resource type

    Online workshop


    2-3 hours

    Last updated

    April 2023

    Resource type



    1 hour


    July 2020

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