ISCMNS is considering becoming a
Charitable Incorporated Organisation

What is a CIO?

The Charity Commission has published extensive information on this new form of organization at However enabling regulations are still being defined so it is not available yet.

Reasons for the Change

ISCMNS as a CIO would only be regulated by the Charity Commission and no longer by the Registrar of Companies as well.  This will make compliance much easier and cheaper (no annual fees to pay).

Secondly it will give members the opportunity to review the constitution of the Society after more than 5 years of operation.  Any new constitution will probably be simpler and more flexible.

Here is the draft proposed ISCMNS CIO constitution based on the Charity Commission draft model.

Current Status

After the unanimous decision of members at the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society to adopt a constitution compatible with Charitable Status, our application to become a registered charity was accepted by the Charity Commission in England who have registered the Society as Charity No. 1116475.

Background to beoming a Charity (2006)

ISCMNS has always been a non profit organization whose purpose was,  (until 25 September 2006)

To promote the science of low energy nuclear reactions in condensed matter, also known as ‘Cold Fusion for the benefit of the Members of the Society and the wider community.

Under English legislation, any association with a public object (ie for the benefit of the public rather than private individuals) is obliged to register with the UK government's Charity Commission.  The act of registration is merely the government's acknowledgement of charitable status.  The actual status in unchanged and consequently any advantages of being a Charity (such as paying less tax)  or responsibilities can be back dated.   Prolonged failure to register might result in legal action against the members of the Executive Committee.   There are no financial costs in applying to register.

Implications of being a Registered Charity

  1. For practical purposes, the Society should never have to pay any tax on its income (no corporation tax).
  2. A Charity can claim tax back from the UK Treasury for donations made under "Gift Aid".  (Arrangements can also be made for US tax payers also to get tax relief on donations.)
  3. The knowledge that the Society is regulated by the Charity Commission should facilitate access to potential donors.
  4. Bank interest paid on the Society's cash may be higher.
  5. ISCMNS will be tightly regulated and controlled with the Charity Commission requiring annual reports and scrutiny of any potential conflicts of interest.

How does the Society register?

  1. The Executive Committee who all become Trustees, must fill in form Declaration form.
  2. Compile Application Form
  3. Include constitution Memorandum and Articles
  4. Include latest accounts
  5. Include newspaper cuttings, posters, publications documenting activities.

How does the Charity Commission respond to applications?

  1. They may reject it saying why.
  2. They may accept it subject to explanations.  For example they may consider that the benefit for members is not a public purpose.   (This is unlikely given that there are many membership organizations which are Charities and all must provide some benefit otherwise they would recruit no members.)
  3. They may accept it outright.
  4. They may suggest changes to the constitution or to the Society's management.

What changes will there be in running the Society as a Charity?

The short answer is very few.  ISCMNS is already being run for the public good by the Executive Committee who are all unpaid.  It will be possible to pay officers in the future within the limits laid down in the constitution.  It should still be possible to attend ISCMNS meetings or receive other services at a discount but these and other membership benefits must be legitimately ancillary to the Society's public objectives.

What are the obligations of the Executive Committee?

All ISCMNS Directors (i.e. members of the Executive Committee) become Trustees.   Their responsibilities are set out in CC3 - The Essential Trustee: What you need to know.  The Executive Committee will have duties to manage the Society prudently and to uphold its reputation.

For more details see:-

RS7 - Membership Charities

RR8 - The Public Character of Charity


Hon. Secretary's Report to AGM 2006


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