To be registered as a charity, a not-for-profit must have charitable purposes that are ‘for the public benefit’. A charity’s purpose is for the public benefit if achieving it would be of benefit to the public generally or a sufficient section of the public.

What is considered a 'sufficient section' of the public may be, for example, a local community, followers of a particular religion, people with a particular disability, refugees or young people.

There are many ways a charity’s purpose can benefit the public, for example, it can provide goods, services, education, counselling or spiritual guidance, or improve the environment.