Dictionary definitions of 'charity'

1a : generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering also : aid given to those in need received charity from the neighbors


1b : an institution engaged in relief of the poor raised funds for several charities


1c : public provision for the relief of the needy too proud to accept charity


2 : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity The holidays are a time for charity and goodwill.


3a : a gift for public benevolent purposes

3b : an institution (such as a hospital) founded by such a gift


4 : lenient judgment of others The critic was liked for his charity and moderation.


char·i·ty (chăr′ĭ-tē)
n. pl. char·i·ties

1. Provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.
2. Something given to help the needy; alms.
3. An institution, organization, or fund established to help the needy.
4. Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity.
5. Indulgence or forbearance in judging others.
6. often Charity Christianity The theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one's neighbors as objects of God's love.

[Middle English charite, from Old French, Christian love, from Latin cāritās, affection, from cārus, dear; see kā- in Indo-European roots.]


American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition


1. (Social Welfare)
a. the giving of help, money, food, etc, to those in need
b. (as modifier): a charity show.
2. (Social Welfare)
a. an institution or organization set up to provide help, money, etc, to those in need
b. (as modifier): charity funds.
3. (Social Welfare) the help, money, etc, given to the needy; alms
4. a kindly and lenient attitude towards people
5. love of one's fellow men
[C13: from Old French charite, from Latin cāritās affection, love, from cārus dear]

Collins English Dictionary


n., pl. -ties.

1. donations or generous actions to aid the poor, ill, or helpless.
2. a charitable act or work.
3. a charitable fund, foundation, or institution.
4. benevolent feeling, esp. toward those in need: to do something out of charity.
5. leniency in judging others; forbearance.
6. alms.
7. Christian love; agape. 



The Charity Commission is established by law as the regulator and registrar for many charities in England and Wales provided that they adhere to a set of strict rules, some of which are open to interpretation - and some of which appear to be designed to ensure that charitable enterprises do not challenge the state. Their stated aim is to provide the best possible regulation of charities in England and Wales in order to increase charities' effectiveness and public confidence and trust. The persons below represent that Charity Commission in 2019.




Baroness Stowel

of Beeston MBE - Chair



Helen Stephenson CBE

Chief Executive



Aarti Thakor

Dir Legal Services



Sarah Atkinson

Dir Policy & Planning




David Jones

Dir Corporate Services




Michelle Russell

Investigations & Enf.




David Holdsworth Deputy Chief Executive




Mike Ashley

Board Member




Laurie Benson

Board member




Tony Cohen

Board member




Kenneth Dibble

Board member




Nina Hingorani-Crain

Board member




Paul Martin CBE

Board member




Catherine Quinn

Board member



Ian Karet

Board member



The Charity Commission has a set of rules that are applied with various degrees of stringency such that applications to be registered are decided on principles that tend to violate Article 9Article 10 and Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights. It appears to depend on who your Trustees are and how well connected they might be - where some decisions are not as consistent as they could be, but where their powers of investigation may sometimes be abused or bent to assist other agencies who might have an axe to grind, or worse still may have something to cover up.


We are keeping a watchful eye on specific cases where the explanations given are insufficient in one regard or another to make us suspicious as to the circumstances of refusal. Not that refusal bars an organisation that operates on a not for profit basis to call itself a charity.