Transfer an existing Trust or Foundation

There are thousands of charitable trusts across the UK that are either dormant, inactive, or ineffective. You will no doubt have come across many who have ceased to operate for a variety of reasons, often through circumstances that are beyond the control of the original trustees.


Reasons why a charitable trust may become dormant, inactive or ineffective include:

  • The original purposes may be outdated and irrelevant to current needs
  • The purposes may have been fulfilled or ceased to exist or the beneficiaries may no longer exist
  • Funding challenges that many in the voluntary sector are facing
  • The fund may be too small to make a significant impact (as it generates almost no income) or a lack of expertise may make grant decision-making challenging

With larger trusts or foundations, it might be that over the years the trustees are not able to distribute the funds and they become dormant, or moribund. Trustees may find it hard to stand down or to find someone to replace them, or they may not fully understand their legal or financial obligations.

The Shrubland Foundation was originally set up in the 1930s to help local people, although more recently no grants were being made. I suggested that it might be a good idea to pass the trust to Suffolk Community Foundation which could invest the capital and put the money to good use helping local charities.

So in 2011, the trust was transferred to the Suffolk Giving Fund where it’s now used for general grantmaking.

David Nicholson

Personal Tax Manager, Ensors

The benefits of transferring a Charitable Trust to Suffolk Community Foundation

  • We can often provide better returns on investments as we are able to pool larger sums of money which are effectively and prudently managed through appointed investment managers.
  • Our local expertise means that we can identify current social need and often find beneficiaries and causes that provide the 21st century equivalent of the issues the original trust was set up to tackle.
  • Trustees can release the responsibility of managing and administering a trust fund directly, but retain an interest in the fund by acting as an adviser or continuing to award grants.

Please get in touch

We’d be happy to have a confidential discussion with you or your client at a time and place that suits you.

This is a great opportunity to ask any questions and for us to learn about your possible gifting intentions and passions.

Please email or call us E. [email protected]  or T. 01473 944732