Kirklees Council wants to transfer more than £300,000 held by “defunct” charity groups to a community foundation.
The council currently manages a number of charitable trusts which have fallen into disuse.
The purpose of the trusts may have lapsed or the funds they hold have been depleted by inflation.
Many of the trusts were set up by benefactors, mainly from the 20th century, but some from earlier.
Some have very specific but outdated purposes such as “giving coal to the poor of Heckmondwike.”
Others have the names of benefactors linked to them, such as Henry Stead Charity, Polly Wharton Charity and Enoch Haythorne.
Some of the trusts have only a few pounds listed as their assets but others do run to thousands of pounds.
Down the years the trusteeship has passed to the council and there is now “significant administration costs” involved, according to a report to the council’s Cabinet on August 12.
The report says the assets of the individual trusts are limited and would be “impractical to recover.”
The report adds: “It is therefore appropriate for the council to consider if alternative strategies exist.
“As the existing arrangements are failing to achieve the objectives intended by the benefactors and there are significant costs and potential risks to the council, an alternative approach is needed.”
The council proposes to eventually close all the trusts and transfer the cash and assets into a single fund.
It was first thought a separate charity trust could be formed but it now seems the council favours handing over responsibility to the existing organisation, One Community Foundation.