Why are we a charity?

OperaUpClose, like more than 160,000 other UK businesses, is a registered charity (no. 115330). The Charity Commission of England and Wales defines charities in 13 different ways. OperaUpClose falls under the charitable aim of “advancing the arts, culture, heritage or science.”  We do this by making our opera accessible to everyone.

Only 3.9% of the UK population have seen a live opera, the three major barriers being cost, lack of geographical provision and lack of awareness. We make sure that our operas are affordable, actually affordable for everyone, with low general admission prices, special offers and even free tickets for people who wouldn’t be able to afford to come otherwise. We tour the UK to make sure that wherever you live you can easily get to our productions. We make sure that everyone in the communities we visit know that we’re coming and tell them in what ways our shows are relevant to them. We also create education and engagement programmes around our productions, to give people the tools and confidence to enjoy opera for the first time.

What does that mean?

So, that’s why we’re a charity. But what does that status mean to OperaUpClose?

Being a registered charity means that we’re trusted and widely recognised as existing for social good. We also cannot make a profit! As a charity, all surplus income has to be invested back into our work. We’re regulated by the Charity Commission and comply with all of their regulatory requirements, which include:

  • Making our annual accounts public – anyone can see view our income and expenditure on the Charity Commission website.
  • Following charity law, which includes telling the Charity Commission and the public about our work.
  • Being run by a board of trustees, who offer advice and support to our full time team, are ultimately responsible for all of the charity’s activities and cannot personally benefit from the charity (other than getting to see our brilliant productions!).
  • Being independent - we can work with other organisations but must make independent decisions about how we carry out our charitable activities.

How does this affect you?

How does our charity status affect you if you would like to be a supporter of OperaUpClose’s (or if you already are!)? 

  • Gift Aid: If you’re a UK tax payer and you sign a Gift Aid declaration, we can reclaim the basic rate tax you’ve already paid on that donation. So for every £1 you donate to us, is actually worth £1.25.
  • Tax relief: If you’re a higher-rate taxpayer and you make a self-assessment tax return, you can claim back the difference between higher rate and basic rate tax on the value of your donation. For a 40% rate taxpayer, that means for every £1 you donate, you can claim back 25p in tax relief.
  • Give As You Earn: If your employer has a payroll giving scheme, you can give directly to OperaUpClose from your pay before tax is deducted. This means you get tax relief at your highest rate of tax, so giving £1 would cost a basic rate taxpayer only 80p.
  • Giving shares: If you own shares, you can sell them and donate the proceeds to OperaUpClose via Gift Aid. Or you can give your shares directly to OperaUpClose, for us to sell them. Giving shares is highly tax-effective as you get full tax relief on any capital gains tax and also can claim income tax relief on the value of the shares.
  • Leaving a legacy in your Will: If you leave a charitable legacy to OperaUpClose in your Will, it reduces the inheritance tax that has to be paid on your estate. Also, if you leave over 10% of your estate to charity, you will pay a reduced rate of inheritance tax on the remainder of your estate.

So when you buy a ticket to our shows, make a donation to us, or buy presents for your friends from our shop, you can be 100% sure that every penny will go directly into funding innovative, unintimidating and high quality productions and education programmes for everyone.