Amnesty International UK is composed of two distinct but related entities: Amnesty International UK Section Charitable Trust (‘the Charitable Trust’), a charity registered in England and Wales (no 1051681) and Scotland (no 03139939), and Amnesty International UK Section (‘the UK Section’), a limited company (company number: 01735872). Each entity is governed by its own Board.
Why are there two different Amnesty International UK organisations?
Having two separate organisations means that we can maximise our human rights impact. The Charitable Trust benefits from the government’s Gift Aid scheme, can receive gifts in Wills and raise money from trusts, foundations and individuals who will only donate to registered charities.
Although the Charitable Trust enjoys some significant benefits, it also operates under statutory regulation. This constrains what the Charitable Trust can work on, the methods it can use and how it operates. The UK Section, by contrast, has fewer constraints and has more freedom in how it pursues its human rights mission, including activity not deemed charitable under UK law
Taken together, this arrangement means we can maximise financial support for human rights, our voice and our impact.
How do the organisations work?
The Charitable Trust fulfils its objectives by funding a range of charitable activities, in the UK and internationally, to promote the rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various international treaties. It gives most of its grants to the UK Section and the International Secretariat of Amnesty International.
The UK Section is responsible for the bulk of our campaigning, education and advocacy work in the UK. It is primarily funded by its members and by grants from the Charitable Trust.
Amnesty International UK’s financial supporters are made up of members of the UK Section and donors to the Trust. Whilst everyone is working towards the same aim – a world where human rights are enjoyed by all - there are slight differences in the experience you will have with Amnesty International UK depending on if you are a member of the Section, or a donor to the Trust.
Both the Charitable Trust and the UK Section adhere to the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice. All our fundraising is carried out in accordance with Amnesty International UK’s fundraising policy and our promise to you as a financial supporter is the same, regardless of whether you are a member of the UK Section or a donor to the Charitable Trust.
What your membership means: participation in our democracy and helping fund the work of Amnesty International UK Section
The UK Section is a membership organisation. As well as contributing to our human rights work, your membership entitles you to have a say in how the organisation is run. Members are eligible to put forward resolutions and vote at the UK Section’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). They also have the right to stand for election to the Board of Directors of the UK Section and to participate in those elections. Membership is the foundation of the global democracy of the Amnesty International movement.
Membership fees are the largest source of funding for the human rights work carried out in the UK by the UK Section. The second largest source are grants from Amnesty International UK Charitable Trust.
To be a member of the UK Section, you must pay a membership fee, which is a fixed price cost. The UK Section cannot benefit from Gift Aid on membership payments, as it is not a charity. Many members choose to make an additional contribution on top of their membership fee, further boosting the scale of human rights work that the UK Section can carry out.
How is the work of Amnesty International UK Charitable Trust funded?
You can also support Amnesty International UK by making regular or ad hoc donations to the Charitable Trust. As these are donations, there is no fixed price and the Charitable Trust can claim Gift Aid where a supporter has given us permission to do so. Donors to the Charitable Trust are not eligible to attend the UK Section’s AGM as they are not members of Amnesty International UK Section.
Other major sources of funding for the Charitable Trust are gifts left in Wills and grants from other trusts and foundations.
Amnesty International UK Charitable Trust is accountable to the Charity Commission and is registered with the Fundraising Regulator.
How can I check if I am a member of Amnesty International UK Section or a donor to Amnesty International UK Charitable Trust?
Please contact our Supporter Communications team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7033 1777 during office hours and they will be able to clarify this for you. If you have received AGM notices, then you are a member of the UK Section. Both members and donors receive the ‘Amnesty’ magazine.