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(p) any other purpose that may reasonably be regarded as analogous to any of the preceding purposes.

Published: 20/08/2015
Updated: 20/08/2015


This purpose recognises that economic circumstances and social needs are constantly changing and that charitable purposes may evolve in future as charities find new ways of meeting those needs and providing public benefit. It gives us flexibility to recognise purposes that resemble an existing charitable purpose but which are novel or different in some way.

This is not a freestanding purpose on its own, nor is it a catch all to allow charities to pursue any other purpose that they may feel is relevant. It is for us to decide if a particular purpose is analogous to one of the other 15 charitable purposes set out in the 2005 Act.

Under this purpose, the advancement of any philosophical belief (whether or not involving belief in a god) may be analogous to the advancement of religion.

What do we mean by analogous?

To be charitable, analogous means that the purpose is comparable with or similar in nature to, one of the other 15 charitable purposes listed in the 2005 Act, and we decide if a purpose is recognised as analogous.

The requirement that the new purpose is analogous to an existing charitable purpose means that the flexibility given to us to make our decision is balanced by the need to make sure that there is a consistent approach to the development of charitable purposes.

We consider that a new purpose might be regarded as analogous to one or more of the existing charitable purposes in the 2005 Act when:

  • it combines aspects of established charitable purposes into a distinctive and coherent whole that reflects current social contexts and needs
  • it includes or resembles certain aspects of an existing charitable purpose, but also has new or different elements
  • it becomes appropriate to recognise as a freestanding purpose something that was previously considered as an activity under an existing charitable purpose.

Examples of analogous purposes

A number of purposes have already been recognised as analogous and therefore charitable. 

The advancement of a philosophical belief (whether or not involving belief in a god):

The 2005 Act specifically recognises this purpose as analogous to the advancement of religion. In deciding whether a belief is capable of being advanced in this way we must be satisfied that:

  • it relates to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life, behaviour, morality and values
  • it has an identifiable formal content
  • it is more than a deeply held opinion or feeling and must have a high level of cogency, coherence, seriousness and importance
  • it is not self-serving, or established mainly for the benefit of its leaders or a closed community of members.

The relief of unemployment:

We consider this purpose to be analogous to the relief of poverty, in view of the well-established link between unemployment and poverty.

Charities registered under this purpose are often set up to assist unemployed people in general or a significant section of the community, for example in areas of social or economic deprivation. Their activities might include assisting unemployed people to:

  • find and retain employment
  • get training in work-related skills
  • benefit from apprenticeships and work placements

 Creating jobs within a charity does not fall under this purpose. The fact that an organisation needs employees to function does not mean that they are set up to relieve unemployment.  

The promotion of the efficiency and effectiveness of policing and the promotion of the efficiency and effectiveness of the armed forces:

We consider these purposes analogous to the advancement of citizenship. This is because we see that the achievement of efficient and effective police or armed forces is a necessary condition for citizens to exercise their rights. Examples of charities that fall under this purpose include regimental associations.

Case 1: an organisation showed that it advanced a purpose analogous to religion (secular Humanism)

We received an application from an organisation that promotes the principles and practice of secular humanism.

We had to consider if secular humanism has the necessary qualities to be analogous to the advancement of religion.

We looked at the definition: ‘the moral, intellectual and social development of individuals and the community, free from theistic, religious and dogmatic beliefs and doctrines and as further defined in the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) Declaration of the World Humanist Congress of 2002’. We looked at whether the belief in secular humanism relates to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life, behaviour, morality and values.

We concluded that secular humanism does fulfil the criteria needed to be analogous to the advancement of religion. The application to become a charity was successful with the analogous purpose of advancing a philosophical belief (secular humanism).