Royal Charter Definitions

Below is an explanation of the definitions of certain terms used in or when describing our Royal Charter.

What is “National Art Collections Fund”?

That’s us. We trade as “Art Fund”, but our official name in our governing documents is “National Art Collections Fund”.

What are “governing documents”?

These are the documents which set out the framework and rules for the governance and running of the charity Ours is called a ”Royal Charter and Byelaws”.

What is a “Royal Charter”?

Art Fund was established by Royal Charter. This means that the Queen or King (in our case King George the Fifth) issued a “Royal Charter” to the charity in order to incorporate it. Our Royal Charter contains the key rules for the charity including our Charitable Purposes and Powers. Changing this document requires Privy Council agreement.

What are “Byelaws”?

Our Byelaws sit beneath the Charter and contain more procedural, practical information, for example information about trustees, members and meetings. Changing this also requires Privy Council agreement.

What are “Charitable Purposes” (also known as “Charitable Objects”)?

To be a charity, an organisation must be established for charitable purposes (also known as charitable “objects”) only. These are purposes which are recognised as charitable by law. The charitable purposes of a charity form the parameters of everything the charity does – a charity must carry out activities which further their charity’s objects.

What are “Powers”?

These are laid out in a charity’s governing document and explain what the charity is permitted to do in practice, in order to further its charitable purposes. This includes things like renting out or mortgaging properties or fundraising, which charities are permitted to do, but only in order to further their charitable purposes.

What is a “Member”?

At Art Fund, a member is anyone who’s bought or been given a National Art Pass, Student Art Pass, or any other art pass, including Ordinary Members, Life Members and Chairman’s Honorary Members, or anyone who has otherwise been granted membership, as long as they comply with the terms of the relevant membership. If you are a member, it means you have the right to attend and vote at our General Meetings.

What is the “Board of Trustees”?

Charity trustees are the people with responsibility for the management and running of the charity. The trustees meet together as a board and make decisions about the charity.

What is a “General Meeting”?

A meeting of the charity’s members, this includes both AGMs and EGMs.

What is an “AGM”?

An “annual general meeting” of the charity’s members. We hold this meeting to communicate with our members on certain matters.

What is an “EGM”?

An “extraordinary general meeting” i.e. a general meeting which is not annual and has been called in addition to the AGM. We are holding an EGM straight after our AGM this year because our current Charter requires us to conduct any decision on amending our governing documents at an EGM.

What is a “Board meeting?”

A meeting of the Board of trustees.

What are “recitals”?

The recitals is a term for the wording at the start and end of our Charter, outside the numbered paragraphs. It includes the section starting “George the Fifth…” on the first page and the section starting “IN WITNESS whereof…” on page 7.

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