Combined list and expression of intent form
It is compulsory for all organisations which are charitable and operating in Northern Ireland to apply for charity registration when called forward by the Commission to do so. They must also ensure that the Commission knows that they are operating here, so that they can be called forward in due course. This applies even if the organisation has not been previously recognised as a charity for tax purposes, for example, having an HMRC tax number.
If your organisation is a charity operating in Northern Ireland, but governed by the law of another jurisdiction please see the information at the bottom of this page.
To help charity trustees to see whether or not they are already on the Commission’s list, we have published the names of all the organisations the Commission is aware of.
On this page you can prepare for charity registration by:
- Checking the Commission's combined list below to see if your organisation is included.
- Following the 'Next steps' outlined further down this page, as appropriate to your organisation, immediately.
Updates and corrections
The combined list was updated on 24 November 2021. The Commission has made every effort to avoid errors on this list.
If you spot any information which you believe to be inaccurate or would like to contact us in relation to this list, please use the specific Combined list form, available by clicking here. Corrections or queries which are sent by other means such as email may not be actioned.
How to use the combined list
The combined list contains a range of information on organisations which the Commission is aware of but which are not on the register of charities. For the purposes of transparency, the list provides the public and others with the Commission’s understanding of their status.
The Commission contacts or "calls forward" organisations in tranches to apply for registration. It primarily calls forward organisations which have submitted Expressions of intent in date order, oldest first. The combined list, which is published in alphabetical order, does NOT indicate the order in which organisations will be called forward to apply for registration. However the call forward tranche also takes account of special circumstances requiring early call forward (see information below) and sectoral risks which have been identified. For example, these can be risks to an organisation in areas such as fundraising or safeguarding that can impact on the reputation of the whole charity sector.
We try to give organisations advance notice that they are likely to be called forward by publishing a separate list on the Call forward page of the Commission’s website.
You can search the combined list by opening it and either scrolling down the alphabetical list or, in order to speed up the process, hold down the CTRL and F buttons on your keyboard. You can then enter the name of the organisation you are searching for in the Find box. To support searches, users may also filter columns.
When you look at the combined list you can find:
This column has the name of the organisation as it has been provided to the Commission. If you check a name and it has changed or is spelled incorrectly, please let the Commission know so that we can correct it. When applying for registration please ensure that the name of the organisation on its governing document matches the name by which you are known to the Commission. If there is any difference please alert the Commission at the time of application.
This column provides more information on the status of an organisation. Each organisation will be marked as one of the following.
Closure notification: This applies to all charities who inform the Commission they have closed prior to registration, but have not yet completed the Commission’s closure process. All charities that inform the Commission they have closed prior to registration should complete a closure notification form supplying details relating to the date of closure, assets held on closure, and any disposals made to enable the Commission to verify this information. This status is applied to closures notified from May 2021.
Closed: The Commission has been informed, or has discovered, that these organisations have closed. If you identify an organisation on this list which has closed, you can pass this information to the Commission using the contact us form. We will then take steps to confirm this closure.
Contact the Commission: Organisations are marked with this status when we have tried to contact them, using the contact details provided to us, but have not received any response. The charity trustees should contact the Commission immediately to update their contact details. All organisations must ensure that the Commission is informed of any changes to their contact details. You can update the Commission by emailing your organisation’s name and your contact details, including the email address the Commission should use to contact your organisation, via the contact us form.
Failed to apply: Organisations are marked with this status when they have failed to apply for charity registration when called forward by the Commission to do so. Under section 17(1) of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 it is the duty of trustees to apply to the Commission to be registered as a charity, and to supply the Commission with the required documents and information. Failure to do so is a breach of this duty. This list will be is updated monthly.
Refused registration: Organisations are marked with this status when they have been refused entry to the register of charities. Refusal to register an organisation is rare, less than 1% of applications received from December 2013 – August 2017. We have published a report outlining the reasons why some registration applications fail. You can read the report: Refused entry to the register: understanding why on the website.
Registration not applicable: Some organisations have been included on the deemed list by HMRC by mistake. HMRC have confirmed an error and, when we have checked their governing document, they do not meet the criteria to be a charity and so they do not have to apply to be added to the register of charities. You can learn more about what deemed means here.
Section 167: This refers to organisations governed by the law of another jurisdiction but which operate in Northern Ireland. The Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 calls these ‘section 167 institutions’. More information on these can be found below.
No entry (blank): Organisations which have no entry beside their name in the status column are either in the process of applying for charity registration, have an application in progress or have not yet been called forward.
The ‘List’ column has details of whether an organisation was deemed at 18 August 2013 or is considered as an expression of intent. For information on what is meant by the term ‘deemed charity’ and ‘expression of intent’ please click here. In order to speed up access to the combined list, from 30 May 2017 this list ceased to contain the names of charities that had been registered by the Commission.
Registered charities can be found on the register of charities here.
The combined list is therefore subject to change. For example, an organisation may be registered and therefore removed from the list.
If you would like the list in an alternative format, for example .csv, please contact the Commission.
Download Combined list XLSX (226.1 KB)
There is currently no definitive way to know exactly how many charities there are in Northern Ireland. However, it is estimated that there are as many as 10,500 charitable organisations still to be registered. Given the estimates, registration will be a managed process with charitable organisations called forward by the Commission in tranches to apply to register. This process is expected to take a number of years.
In order to ensure your organisation will be called forward for registration, the Commission is urging all charities in Northern Ireland to undertake one of the following actions, as appropriate to them:
You are on the combined list but contact details are missing – please update the Commission by emailing your organisation’s name and your contact details via the contact us form.
You are NOT on the combined list – please complete the online Expression of intent form (external link) to provide your details to the Commission, enabling you to be called forward to apply for charity registration at a future date. Please note that submitting an Expression of intent form does not mean that you will be called forward earlier than normal or that your registration application will be “fast tracked”.
By submitting a form you are providing the Commission with your contact details so that your organisation may be called forward by the Commission as part of a future registration tranche. Given the thousands of charities operating in Northern Ireland, registration must be operated via a managed process which is fair to all applicants. Alternatively, if you believe there are valid reasons for your organisation to be called forward earlier than normal, please see the information on special circumstances below.
You think there are special circumstances which may apply to your registration - for example you think you are one of a number of similar organisations that could be assessed as a grouped registration.
Some organisations, for example parent teacher associations, operate as individual groups but are closely linked under a wider, regional or national organisation. These organisations may be able to apply as a grouped registration under an approved governing document.
You can find out more information about grouped registration and approved governing documents in our Registering as a charity in Northern Ireland guidance.
You may need to use a particular power set out in the Charities Act for which registration is a condition. Please complete the online Expression of intent form (external link), outlining any special circumstances which you think apply in your case.
It is important to note that any reasons why you are requesting the Commission call your charity forward quickly, or as a group, must be valid and you may be asked to provide evidence. For example, while the register of charities is growing, funding bodies in Northern Ireland are normally content that you are on the Commission’s combined list and therefore the Commission knows about your organisation for registration purposes. If, however, you have applied to a funding body and they have insisted on charity registration, you may ask the Commission if you can be called forward under special circumstances, explaining this as the reason. Please note that you may be required by the Commission to provide written confirmation from the funding body evidencing this requirement.
Organisations governed by the law of another jurisdiction but that operate in Northern Ireland - Under Section 167 of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 these are organisations which are not charities under the law of Northern Ireland, and were established outside of Northern Ireland, but which operate for charitable purposes in or from Northern Ireland. These organisations may be required to apply for registration with the Commission however they may be subject to different annual reporting obligations. Section 167 institutions will not be called forward until the Department for Communities has enacted that section of the legislation and made regulations outlining financial statements and statements of activities which such institutions will be required to submit to the Commission. Further details will be available once the regulations are made and consulted on.
In the meantime, if your organisation falls under Section 167 of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 you should make us aware of your intention to register by completing the online Expression of Intent form. The name of your organisation will be added the Combined list and published on the Commission’s website.