Charities and Not For Profit.

L & S Accounting Firm is the adviser of choice for the Charities and Not for Profit sector and offers a wide range of services to organisations within this sector. We have a strong presence in the public sector and are able to provide specialist advice to those organisations working or seeking to work closely with government. For further information on the group, please download a copy of the report.

This sector is substantial and complex – here at L & S Accounting Firm, we recognise these complexities and have assembled a team of experts to advise our clients. Our specialist team have experience of dealing with a wide range of third sector bodies and have a keen appreciation of their ethos, structure and culture.

We act for over 800 organisations in this sector from local to international organisations, providing a broad range of integrated services that include Audit, Tax, Consulting and Corporate Finance. We run a range of complimentary events and seminars, all of which are specifically aimed at the sector. We also publish regular newsletters, articles and other publications; make sure you register to receive these regularly.

Our experience

Education Charities

Education charities serve students from every age group, pre-school to graduate school and beyond.  Some serve as the educational institutions while focus on making education more accessible and effective.

  • Private Elementary, Jr. High, and High Schools
  • Universities and Colleges
  • Scholarship and financial aid services
  • School Reform and Experimental Education
  • Support for students, teachers, and parents

Health Charities

Health charities cover everything from supporting and treating the sick and disabled, working on cures for deseases, and promoting public awareness of specific health risks.

  • Disease & Disorder Charities
  • Medical Services & Treatment
  • Medical Research Charities
  • Patient and Family Support Charities

International NGOs

International NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) are typically charities that are headquartered in one country but work in other countries.  In some cases they overlap with other types of charities.

  • International Development NGOs
  • Disaster Relief & Humanitarian NGOs
  • Peace & Human Rights NGOs
  • Conservation NGOs
  • Child Sponsorship Organizations

What’s the Difference Between a Charity and a Non-Profit?

Many people often struggle to differentiate a charity from a non-profit organisation, especially since laws governing this sector vary depending on where you are in the UK. So, here’s a quick guide on how to distinguish the two and what this means for your insurance requirements.

What is a charity?

In England and Wales:

According to the Charity Commission for England and Wales, a charity is an organisation that is established for charity purposes and falls under the jurisdiction of High Court charity law. It must also provide a public benefit, either generally or to a sufficient section of the public.

Normally, if your charity income exceeds £5,000 a year, you must register with the Charity Commission (England and Wales). If your organisation has a mixture of charitable and non-charitable purposes, however, you will not meet the legal definition of a charity.

In Scotland:

In Scotland, the definition is worded slightly differently but is essentially the same. The Scottish Charity Regulator OSCR states that an organisation needs to meet what is known as the charity test: it must be used exclusively for charitable purposes which benefit the public.

What is a non-profit organisation?

According to Thomson Reuters Practical Law , some non-profit organisations are ineligible for beneficial tax treatment and cannot be defined as charities. These include community interest companies that benefit a community but reinvest their profits for this purpose. The definition also covers community benefit societies, non-charitable housing associations, non-governmental organisations campaigning for changes in specific aspects of UK law, and non-charitable social enterprises which have social and commercial objectives.

What the difference means for your charity insurance

All charities and non-profits have a duty of care to protect their assets and resources. That’s why you need to have the right charity insurance to protect your organisation’s property, possessions, money and reputation

Charities and non-profit organisations should be covered by public liability insurance. This is especially important if your charity is in contact with members of the public at events such as fundraisers. If you don’t have this form liability insurance, you won’t be covered for the legal costs of defending a liability claim. For example, at a fundraiser, an attendee could make a claim if they:


  • Suffer a bodily injury as a result of tripping on a wet floor if the hazard was reasonably foreseeable (if the organisers had enough time to make arrangements to dry the floor if it had been wet for some time)
  • Suffer a bodily injury as a result of damage to the venue (if this was foreseeable)

If you’re a charity employing paid staff: You’re required to have employers’ liability insurance worth at least £5 million, in addition to public liability charity insurance.

What is public liability insurance?

What is employers’ liability insurance?

You should also prominently display your insurance certificate in your charity’s premises.

Do you need trustee indemnity insurance for your charity or non-profit?

Trustee indemnity insurance is important if you are a trustee, director, employee, officer or have another significant role in the organisation. It will provide you with financial protection if you face a claim for compensation for wrongful acts such as a breach of duty, a health and safety claim, pollution or defamation.