A charity is a type of non-profit, voluntary organisation which is set up and required to use any profits only for the organisations purpose, rather than that of an individual. The whole purpose of the organisation must be charitable and we can see a large list of charitable purposes under the Charities Act 2006, including, amongst others, the prevention and relief of poverty, the advancement of education and religion, the advancement of human rights, environmental protection or animal welfare and the advancement of the arts and crafts.
It is likely that we could all name a whole host of varying charitable organisations, ranging from those giving assistance to those with terminal illness, and in addition researching new methods to treat these, through to local community groups with the aim of keeping children occupied and away from the streets.
Charities often receive no government funding and are left completely to themselves to raise required funds through a variety of fundraising events of all types. Those who do receive funding often receive it from independent bodies such as the National Lottery Fund, who allocate a percentage of their profits to help charitable causes. Another form of income for charities is donations from the public; however with so many charities seeking donations, these can often be low, depending on the type of charity. People will often donate to a charity which they have a particular link with, due to family ties or the like, and it is common for the elderly to leave a small donation to a charity of their choice in their will.