Learn How to Register A Charity in Jamaica – Jamaica Information Service (2023)


Initial Officer Training Programme (IOTP) provides basic military officer training to Officer Cadets (OCdts) and their equivalents from law enforcement and uniformed services. The programme falls within the tactical level of the Professional Military Education (PME) framework of armed forces and is modelled from the Royal Military Academy Sandhursts’ (RMAS) Commissioning Course. It was designed with the direct support and guidance of RMAS Instructing and Support Staff.


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Traditionally, the Jamaica Defence Force’s (JDF) longstanding partnerships with militaries across the world has seen its OCdts being trained in academies in the following countries: United States, England, Canada, China and India. Upon the return of OCdts to the JDF, there is a requirement for doctrine and operating procedure standardization due to the varying concepts and differing contents of the training they had undergone. This is normally done at the Unit level and later, through a Young Officers’ Course. The advent of COVID-19 added a new level of complexity to travel, thus negatively affecting the process of sending OCdts overseas. Additionally, the ongoing expansion and restructuring of the Force to cauterize the ballooning threats to national security has caused an increased demand for newly commissioned Second Lieutenants.

Due to the carefully adapted military and academic curricula, IOTP serves as the course to treat with the aforementioned considerations. The methodology used addresses each issue directly and the course, through the delivery of a bespoke training syllabus, is fit for the JDF and is also relevant to the militaries and organizations within the Caribbean region and in other parts of the world.


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Having the RMAS approach to training at its core, IOTP is designed with a syllabus that sees male and female integration throughout training. The course focusses on developing military skills and command with a leadership ‘golden thread’. The course structure allows the Instructing Staff to educate, build, develop and scrutinize an OCdt’s ability to decide and communicate accurately and ethically while under pressure and or stress. The expectation is that on commissioning, an OCdt will be fully cognizant of the responsibilities and personal conditions that being an Officer imposes upon them. The product of the IOTP will be an ethical and robust Officer who has the knowledge, skills, attitudes and intellectual agility to adapt their decision-making process and approach to any environment.


The home of IOTP is the Caribbean Military Academy (CMA) Newcastle, which is located at the Newcastle Hill Station, St Andrew, Jamaica.

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Nestled in the cool hills of upper St Andrew and amidst beautiful trees, ferns, ground orchids, delicate wild flowers and a profusion of ginger lilies, is the Newcastle

Training Depot founded in 1841 by Major General Sir William Maynard Gomm (later Field Marshall). Gomm, a veteran of the wars against revolutionary France and Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica from 1840 to 1841, relentlessly badgered the War Office in London to establish a mountain station for British soldiers in Jamaica soon after taking up his post.

The idea of the hill station was first raised by Gomm in a letter dated April 7, 1840 to Governor Sir Charles Metcalfe. Gomm pointed out that while Up Park Camp was an ideal location for a barracks, it was subject to the ravages of yellow fever. In Jamaica the

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British garrison was stationed on the plain at Up Park Camp, Stony Hill, Fort Augusta and Port Royal. Here, on the average, 1 soldier died every 2½ days. According to Russell, the year 1838 was considered a ‘good’ year: only 91 men died. In 1839, 110 men perished and in the following year 121. Initially, the British government was conservative in approving a hill station for the troops in Jamaica. They were concerned about the expense of the venture.

In May 1841, London finally sanctioned Gomm’s efforts to build what is thought to be the first permanent mountain station in the British West Indies at Newcastle. The site selected was a coffee plantation protruding from the southern face of the grand ridge of the Blue Mountains. The British government paid £4,230 for the Newcastle site.

At the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945), life at Newcastle changed a little. The British regiment was replaced by Canadian regiments which remained at Newcastle for the duration of the war. With hostilities over in 1945, the Canadians left and once again a British battalion was stationed there.

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In 1958, the West Indies Federation was founded and the infantry regiments of the various Caribbean islands were disbanded and reorganized into the West India Regiment. Newcastle became a training depot, training recruits from all over the West Indies as part of the

newly formed West Indies Federation. In 1962 when Federation was disbanded, the West India Regiment was also disbanded. Jamaica simultaneously sought her independence, which was achieved on August 6, 1962. With independence, Newcastle was given to the Jamaican government as part of a general settlement of all military lands in Jamaica.


How much does it cost to register a charity in Jamaica? ›

Fill out the form and do your name check. If the name is available, it will be reserved for two days, no charge. If you want to reserve it for 90 days, you can pay JMD$3,000.

How do I register a charity organization? ›

Visit the IRS online and find IRS Form 1023, called, "Application for Recognition of Exemption." Download Form 1023, complete it and mail it to the IRS at: P.O. Box 12192, Covington, KY 41012-0192. In addition, contact your state's comptroller or secretary of state's office and request nonprofit tax exemption forms.

What qualifies as a charity according to Jamaican laws? ›

A charitable organization is any institution established to give back. Under the law, according to section 2 of the Charities Act, such organizations can be a charitable trust or any institution, established for that exclusive purpose.

How long does it take to become a registered charity? ›

If you provide all the information and documents required, and answer all the questions clearly, the Charity Commission state that they will come back to you within 45 days. Once you start your application you will have 3 months to complete and submit it.

How do I become a registered charity in Jamaica? ›

Registration Requirements for Charitable Status:

Applications for registration are to be made to the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS) located at: 2 Musgrave Avenue, Kingston 10, Telephone: 927-4912/927-6572 or 978-1946. A certificate is issued which is valid for 2 years.

Do charities pay tax in Jamaica? ›

Tax incentives for charitable organisations

The Charities Act provides a mechanism for registered charitable organisations to obtain exemption from income tax, customs duty, GCT, property tax, stamp duty, and transfer tax.

Do I need a license to run a charity? ›

You must apply to your council for a licence if you want to collect money or goods (that you plan to sell at a later date) from people's homes for charity. Contact your council (or if you're in London, the Metropolitan Police ) to apply for the licence.

How do I start a small charity? ›

How to Start a Charity: Know the Basics
  1. Define Your Mission. Before anything else, you need to figure out your reason for existing. ...
  2. Pick a Name. Choosing a name is crucial. ...
  3. Register With the IRS. ...
  4. Make a Website. ...
  5. Start Raising Money. ...
  6. Stay Lean.
Jul 12, 2017

Does my charity need to be registered? ›

Charities that have an annual income of less than £5,000 are not required to register with the Charity Commission and cannot voluntarily do so unless they have the legal structure of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), meaning they're automatically registered. They must still follow charity law.

What are three types of charity? ›

There are four main types of charity structure:
  • charitable incorporated organisation ( CIO )
  • charitable company (limited by guarantee)
  • unincorporated association.
  • trust.
May 30, 2014

What are the four types of charity? ›

Four Charity Structures
  • Charitable Trust. A Charitable Trust must be run not-for-profit, and all of its purposes must be charitable. ...
  • Charitable Company. ...
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation. ...
  • Unincorporated Association.
Jun 15, 2021

What type of bank account does a charity need? ›

Many charities use business bank accounts. In some cases banks stipulate that larger charities (by turnover) or those with certain organisational forms (e.g. a charitable company limited by guarantee) have to open a business account rather than charity account. Make sure you shop around.

How much money do you need to start a charity? ›

The answer is “it's complicated.” Generally, you need an investment of $500 at a bare minimum, but costs can be as high as $1,000 or more.

Can anyone start a charity? ›

Charities must be independent - a charity can work with other organisations but must make independent decisions about how it carries out its charitable purposes. Charities must be run by trustees who are normally unpaid volunteers - they can only be paid where it is authorised.

What are the legal requirements for a charity? ›

Charities' purposes must be able to benefit the public and charity trustees must run their charities for the benefit of the public. Charities cannot distribute their profits to shareholders: all funding raised by or for a charity must go towards the cause.

What are the different types of registered charities? ›

Examples of registered charities

advancement of education (colleges, universities, and research institutes) advancement of religion (places of worship and missionary organizations) purposes beneficial to the community (animal shelters, libraries, and volunteer fire departments)

Can a single person run a charity? ›

A sole member nonprofit is a unique version of this public charity, where the membership is made up of one, permanent member, usually the founder. You will occasionally see a variant of this that includes another person… maybe a spouse.

How much charity is tax free? ›

An amount up to Rs 2000 can be donated in the form of cash. Taxpayers must note that donations processed under foreign trusts and political parties will not be covered under section 80 of the Income Tax Act. Deductions cannot be claimed by donating to any such charitable trusts.

Can you avoid taxes with charity? ›

By using the proper tax planning strategies, charitable contributions can reduce three kinds of federal taxes: income, capital gains and estate taxes. Income tax strategies—Donations to 501(c)(3) public charities qualify for an itemized deduction from income.

Can you get paid if you run a charity? ›

Non-profit organisations do not have 'owners' but instead have 'founders'. While a non-profit organisation is not able to earn a taxable profit, those who founded the organisation, or run the organisation, are able to earn a salary.

What is the difference between a charity and a nonprofit? ›

Charities operate solely for charitable purposes and foundations primarily operate to supply funds. Nonprofits, however, are more flexible with their activities. They operate for charitable purposes, civic improvement, welfare, recreation and pleasure.

Is it hard to start your own charity? ›

Starting a charity demands time and requires effort and money—far more than most people think. And if you're not sure how to go about it, the process can be even more difficult. Nevertheless, do not be discouraged.

How do charity owners make money? ›

There are five main ways charities and non-profits raise funds and stretch their dollars: using volunteers, hosting gala fundraising events, selling products, sponsoring events, and advertising to bring in more donations.

What happens if a charity is not registered? ›

An unregistered charity isn't incorporated, so those running it are not protected by limited liability.

How many trustees does a charity need? ›

Best practice would require - a minimum of three. Best practice would require - a charity's governing document to set out the number of charity trustees required and state a quorum for charity meetings. Quorum – minimum number of charity trustees needed to hold legally valid meetings and make legally binding decisions.

What is the simplest form of charity? ›

1. Unincorporated associations – The simplest kind of charity to set up, this is a good option if you expect to stay small. You and the other trustees will be personally liable for anything the charity does and the charity does not have a separate legal status. 2.

Who controls a charity? ›

Charity trustees are the people who have the general management and control of the administration of a charity. Depending on the individual charity's constitution, they may be called Board members, directors, management committee members, charity trustees, governors or patrons.

What is the best form of charity? ›

The Prophet Muhammad said: “The best charity is giving water to drink.”

Do charities pay tax? ›

Charities aren't completely exempt from tax, but in general they do pay reduced tax compared with other types of organisation.

Do charity trustees get paid? ›

A charity can pay for the supply of any services that are over and above normal Trustee duties. Trustees can be paid for providing services (and, in some cases, goods) to the charities for which they are a Trustee.

Who are the beneficiaries of a charity? ›

[A beneficiary is] anyone who uses or benefits from a charity's services or facilities, whether provided by the charity on a voluntary basis or as a contractual service, perhaps on behalf of a body like a local authority.

How much money can a nonprofit have in a bank account? ›

📝 How much money can a nonprofit have in a bank account? There is no maximum amount you can have in your savings account. We recommend you set aside 6 months of operating costs in case of emergency.

Do small charities need to be audited? ›

Does my charity need to be audited? In most cases charities are governed by the Charities Act, and for incorporated charities, also the Companies Act. However, the threshold for charities to be legally required to prepare and file audited financial statements is much lower than those of private and public companies.

Do charities have to pay bank charges? ›

Charity banking fees

If you're a smaller charity, a number of banks offer free banking for everyday transactions such as paying in, withdrawing cash and holding cash. However, some banks will charge a monthly fee for the running of the account and for certain transactions.

Can the founder of a non profit receive a salary? ›

A non-profit founder may pay themselves a fair salary for the work they do running the organization. Likewise, they can compensate full-time and part-time employees for the work they do. Non-profit founders earn money for running the organizations they founded.

How much does IRS allow for charity? ›

Generally, you may deduct up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income, but 20 percent and 30 percent limitations apply in some cases. Tax Exempt Organization Search uses deductibility status codes to identify these limitations.

How much does it cost to register a charitable trust? ›

Find the forms you'll need to register your charitable trust board or keep its details up to date. Please note: there are no fees for registering or maintaining a charitable trust board.

Can I run a charity without registering? ›

Charities that have an annual income of less than £5,000 are not required to register with the Charity Commission and cannot voluntarily do so unless they have the legal structure of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), meaning they're automatically registered.

Does the owner of a charity get paid? ›

While a non-profit organisation is not able to earn a taxable profit, those who founded the organisation, or run the organisation, are able to earn a salary. This means a non-profit organisation founder can ensure they earn a living while being able to professionally facilitate charitable giving.

Who is legally responsible for a charity? ›

Trustees are legally responsible for the management and administration of their charity.

How many trustees are required for a charitable trust? ›

Further, there is no limit on the maximum number of trustees. But a minimum of two trustees are necessary to form a Trust. Also, the author generally cannot be the trustee. And he needs to be a resident of India.

What is the difference between a charitable trust and a registered charity? ›

An organisation can only call themselves a charity if they are on the Charities Register. A registered charity can have one of a range of legal entitles, for example: a charitable trust - money or property for charitable purposes, that is managed by a charitable trust board.

Is it worth registering as a charity? ›

Advantages of becoming a charity

The public perceives registered charities as being more credible than organizations which are not registered. This may raise the public's confidence in your organization, and help you attract more volunteers and benefit your fundraising.

Does a charity have to have a bank account? ›

All charities need a deposit or current account to hold cash for the day-to-day running of the organisation. It may seem daunting that different banks offer accounts with different names like societies' accounts, trustees' accounts, charities' accounts, small business accounts, and so on.

Can I start a charity to avoid taxes? ›

Tax exemption/deduction: Organizations that qualify as public charities under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) are eligible for federal exemption from payment of corporate income tax. Once exempt from this tax, the nonprofit will usually be exempt from similar state and local taxes.


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