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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Using and understanding the register of charities

The register of charities is a growing public resource which anyone, anywhere in the world, may use to find out key information about charities registered in Northern Ireland. It contains individual entries including a charity’s name, contact address, charitable purposes and certain financial information. The information on the register of charities is made available as part of the governments Open data initiative.

The focus of Open Data is on facts, datasets and statistics which can be analysed by the public, researchers, policy makers etc. In practice what this means for the Commission is:

  • charities that are listed on the public register of charities including details of their purposes, beneficiaries and public address
  • Charity income and expenditure - added as charities complete their annual monitoring return
  • data generated through research undertaken into public trust and confidence in charities in Northern Ireland.

Personal information that falls under the Freedom of Information Act and other sensitive data will not be published. This includes, for example, information submitted to the Commission for the purpose of investigating a concern about a charity, or information submitted under serious incident reporting.

We started to register charities in December 2013 and continue to add to it. You can find out how many charities are currently registered by visiting the register of charities. The guidance below sets out what other information is available on the register and how to conduct a range of searches using the general search function or applying a range of filters. The guidance also provides information for a range of stakeholders on how to download information from the register on individual charities, a collection of charities or all registered charities.

Please note that due to recent changes in the register references to a charity’s status, shown as: Up-to-date, Due documents received late, and in default are currently not in use. The ‘Status’ search filter has also been removed since this guidance was prepared. We plan to update the guidance to reflect these changes over the coming months.

If you are using this guidance and need any clarification, please contact the Commission at

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