The Asexuality New Zealand Trust’s board of trustees have gained incorporation with the Companies Office, and the Trust has been recognised as a not-for-profit charitable entity by the Charities Office.
Since launching in February, the Asexuality New Zealand Trust has been making plans for our future growth.
At the same time as we’ve been developing this website and working on our other resources, the Trust’s leadership committee has been looking at how the Trust can most effectively empower the New Zealand asexual community and educate those around them going forward. In the long term, we hope the Trust can ensure public decision makers respond to asexual individuals’ experiences by providing them with these materials. More importantly, we hope to ensure the long term stability of the Trust to ensure members of the New Zealand asexual community, and their loved ones, have an informed local source of understanding and support.
The Trust’s board of trustees therefore took the decision to apply to the Companies Office to become registered as an incorporated trust board. Incorporated trust boards are like companies in the sense they have separate legal personality to the people that sit on their boards and control their affairs. This means that the money the Trust applies to its charitable purposes is owned by the Trust, instead of being technically owned by the members of the trust’s board as would otherwise have to be the case.
Moving forward, this also provides more stability to the Trust as it allows old trustees to retire and new trustees to be appointed with less inconvenience. It also allows the Trust to apply for grants from charity funding bodies and enter into contracts, such as for printing and distributing resources, more easily.
Excitingly, the Trust has also been given charitable status by Charities Services and has been entered on the Charities Register, becoming one of the 27,500 charities in New Zealand. Obtaining registration means that the Trust becomes able to describe itself as a registered charity. It also allows the Trust to obtain access to financial support from organisations who only fund registered charities.
In return for providing the Trust with access to these benefits, Charities Services expects the Trust to offer our supporters with detailed information about the organisation’s activities and management. As part of this, the Trust will be required to provide Charities Services with detailed annual reports setting out how funds received are used, the activities that the Trust has undertaken, and the benefits we’ve produced to the New Zealand community. Most importantly, we are now required by law, as well as by the rules that set up the Trust back in February, to ensure our spending is exclusively on our charitable purposes and goes entirely on benefitting the community at large. Like all charities, we are now entirely not for profit.
As part of obtaining charitable status, the Trust has also received designation as a donee organisation from the Inland Revenue Department. This will allow us to offer those who donate $5 or more to the trust a tax refund certificate at the end of every financial year (March 31). These can be used when you submit your tax returns to obtain a tax refund for up to 1/3 the amount of the donation (provided this doesn’t exceed 1/3 of your total taxable income when added together with the other charitable donations you’ve made that year). Any donations received will be used exclusively for the Trust’s charitable purposes, and will be treated in accordance with the stringent reporting standards set out above.
In obtaining recognition as a charitable organisation, and becoming subject to these restrictions, the Trust’s board hopes to ensure we have the confidence of the New Zealand asexual community. We’ve been enormously grateful for the support and excitement that our project has generated, and hope to continue to provide high quality resources and insights to asexuals in New Zealand and our wider society.