Charitable purpose

We ensure everything we do fits directly and clearly with our charitable objectives.

The purpose of the British Council is to create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.  The Royal Charter that governs our work states that the objects for which we exist are: “[to] advance [....] any purpose which is exclusively charitable and which shall:

(a) promote cultural relationships and the understanding of different cultures between people and peoples of the United Kingdom and other countries;

(b) promote a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom;

(c) develop a wider knowledge of the English language;

(d) encourage cultural, scientific, technological and other educational cooperation between the United Kingdom and other countries; or 

(e) otherwise promote the advancement of education.”

All of our work - whether funded by UK government grant, partnership co-funding, sponsorship or client income – must contribute directly and clearly to these charitable objectives.  

This does not mean that everything we do must deliver immediate short-term benefits against those objectives – much of our impact is achieved over the long term.  However, it does mean that in our paid for and contract work, it is not enough to generate income that we can re-invest elsewhere to pursue our purpose; all paid for and contract work we undertake must in and of itself directly contribute to our purpose and to one or more of the charitable objectives set out in our Royal Charter.