Charity Members

The membership concept unites a diverse group of people around a common cause, assisting charities in growing and improving society.

What role do charity members play?

This ruling may set a legal precedent for charity members, because it seems to suggest that members have the same fiduciary duties as trustees, as long argued by the Charity Commission. Crucially though, the CA maintained that this duty is subjective, and it is up to the member to determine how best to act in a way which will benefit the charity. The CA’s judgement does not rule on the scope of members’ fiduciary duties; instead what is important is the members’ state of mind. If a member is of sound mind, they may act as they wish as long as they deem their actions to be in the interests of the charity. Given that this is subjective, almost by definition, it is possible that this point may prove contentious in future cases.