Charging for services: illustrative examples of benefits for the poor

The following are some illustrative examples of ways in which charities, whose charges for use of their services or facilities are more than the poor can afford, might provide benefits for the poor

It includes illustrative examples for:

Charitable educational establishments (eg schools, colleges, universities)

The following are some specific examples of ways in which charitable educational establishments, such as charitable independent schools, might make provision for the poor to benefit.

In every case it will depend on the actual provision and the circumstances of the particular fee-charging charity whether the provision of benefits to the poor is more than minimal or tokenistic:

  • offering bursaries or other types of assisted places
  • collaborating with state schools, including working with or sponsoring academies
  • having a funding arrangement between an independent school and a separate, and possibly linked, grant-making body
  • allowing pupils from local state schools to use its educational facilities (including sports facilities, such as swimming pool, sports hall, astro and playing fields, design technology or arts and concert facilities for example)
  • allowing pupils from local state schools to attend certain lessons or other educational events at independent schools
  • formalising ways of sharing knowledge, skills, expertise and experience with other educational providers, for example, state schools, colleges or academies as a form of non-financial sponsorship
  • formally seconding teaching staff to other state schools or colleges, for example in specialist subjects such as individual sciences or modern languages
  • working with schools overseas that provide education to children from families that cannot afford to pay for the child's education
  • supporting state schools to help them prepare A-level students for entry to universities
  • hosting joint schools events with other local state and independent schools, such as sports days, maths, spelling, music, dance and drama competitions or productions
  • working together with a state school on a project to improve the quality of teaching and learning for pupils
  • collaborating with a state school to share respective skills and experience
  • working in partnership with a non fee-charging school overseas to share knowledge, skills and expertise and arrange cultural exchange visits for pupils at both schools

Other charities that advance education and charities that promote the arts (eg theatres, concert halls, museums, art galleries)

The following are some specific examples of ways in which other sorts of charities that advance education (such as charities that advance education in a particular subject, or museums) and charities that promote the arts (such as charitable theatres, concert halls and art galleries) might make provision for the poor to benefit:

  • offering concessionary tickets
  • offering free or reduced membership
  • lottery-based or ballot systems for allocating places for cheaper tickets for concerts or performances
  • offering free or concessionary rates for state school parties at performances
  • offering free or concessionary rates for state school parties at exhibitions, museums
  • putting on additional free, low cost or understudies' performances of a play or concert or using other media such as videos, films, DVDs or CDs to enable others to enjoy the event
  • offering free tours of a theatre or other similar venue
  • providing drama workshops for students
  • offering free lectures
  • providing educational opportunities for writers or performers
  • performing in local state schools or other community facilities
  • using the internet to publish or transmit events and publications to a wider audience
  • in addition to offering concessions on ticket prices, a local theatre might also have an exhibition space for local people to view works of art and an amateur dramatic society that local people can join
  • offering additional jobs or volunteer places, for example at exhibitions, museums or events, specifically for people unemployed, who are students or for other reasons have limited incomes and providing them opportunities to enjoy the exhibition, or event, freely
  • providing mentoring schemes, which could be offered in person, by phone or via the internet for example
  • providing networking schemes to share educational knowledge and information, for example to increase understanding of safer working practices in a particular field

Charities that advance health or relieve sickness (eg charitable hospitals)

The following are some specific examples of ways in which charities that advance health or relieve sickness, such as charitable hospitals, might make provision for the poor to benefit:

  • offering treatment for free or at a reduced rate
  • providing treatments paid for by accessible medical insurance or other benefit schemes. (This would depend, though, on the cost of such schemes and what sorts of services people are entitled to receive under them)
  • offering free access to specialised medical equipment not available in the local NHS hospital, or through a number of beds in the charitable hospital being made freely available to NHS patients
  • providing medical training to nurses or doctors at an NHS hospital which benefits the non-paying patients at that hospital
  • developing new technologies and undertaking medical research the useful results of which are made publicly available and shared with non-charging hospitals and medical practitioners

Charities that provide residential care

The following are some specific examples of ways in which charities that provide residential care might make provision for the poor to benefit:

  • funding, offered by a local authority, to pay for a place in a care home
  • inviting local people who are elderly and in need, but living in their own homes, to join the residents for meals, or attend outings with them, or join in organised recreational activities in the care home
  • providing respite care

Charities that advance heritage or environmental protection or improvement

The following are some specific examples of ways in which charities that advance environmental protection or improvement might make provision for the poor to benefit:

  • offering free or reduced membership fees or entry fees
  • providing free open public access to land, such as commons, open countryside, public footpaths, coastal paths, harbours and woodlands
  • offering learning opportunities, active mentoring and coaching opportunities to schools and other educational establishments
  • providing free publications and newsletters about preservation and conservation projects
  • providing free information and advice on protecting buildings, conserving land, reducing carbon footprints, and on other environmental and climate change issues
  • providing information and 'virtual tours' of historic buildings and other educational material via the internet
  • providing free information and advice on archaeology

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