Charitable Status

Charitable Status


Executive Summary

The Institute has considered becoming a charity several times over the past 30 years. After deciding

to become a charity and applying in 2021, and our application having been refused in 2022, we have

since been deliberating on whether to proceed with a resubmission or not.


Charitable status

The current view of the Board of Trustees is that there is not sufficient benefit in becoming a charity.

The full reasons for the decision not to re-apply for charitable status are set out below. However, a

primary reason related to the reason that the Charity Commission turned down our initial application

which was that we had failed to demonstrate that all our activities provided ‘public good’. The Board

considered that whilst delivering sustainable fisheries management clearly brings wider benefits to

society, the Institute also has a key role in providing services and benefits to its members and the

profession and to meet the Charity’s requirements would require us to compromise these activities.

The Board therefore recommends that we don’t proceed at this time. That does not, however, stop

us from considering it again in the future.


Legal status

As we currently have no legal status, the Board also recommends that IFM registers as a Company

Limited by Guarantee, which will provide (1) limited liability but (2) still retain the option to apply to

become a charity in the future.


Members’ decision

Such changes in direction require agreement by the membership, so these proposals are presented

for IFM members to decide at the Annual General Meeting on 18 October.


Members are asked to consider and vote on the following proposals:

1. Do you agree with the proposal NOT to proceed with charitable status at this time – Yes or No?

2. Do you agree with the proposal to register as a Company Limited by Guarantee – Yes or No?


Such decisions are important and not simple. To be transparent, we present in the appendices of the guidance document  the range and detail of information we have considered over time to help members consider the various advantages and disadvantages and to help form your decision.

You can read the guidance document below

Charitable Status AGM 2023

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