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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Live Twitter Q&A on charity registration

To celebrate the launch of the updated Northern Ireland register of charities, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland will host a live charity registration Q&A on Twitter on Tuesday 8 December 2015.

To be held from noon to 1.30pm via @CharityCommNI and using #NIcharities, the Q&A will give charities and others an opportunity to have their registration questions answered by one of the Commission’s Casework team.

Frances McCandless, Commission Chief Executive, commented: “It has been almost two years since charity registration began in Northern Ireland and we are proud to report over 3,100 charities have now been registered.

“Given the experience we have gleaned over the past two years, now is the perfect time to offer an opportunity to tweet us a question about registration, as well as get some tips on the process itself.

“So if you, or someone you know, has a query about charity registration, get online and send us your question via @CharityCommNI and we will endeavour to answer as many queries as we can live on Twitter.” 

This will be the Commission’s second live Twitter event, with the session aimed at providing an opportunity to offer registration advice and tips, as well as answer registration queries or dispel any myths around the process.

Charity registration

Compulsory charity registration began in Northern Ireland for the first time on 16 December 2013, with the register of charities going live on that date.

According to estimates there are over 7,000 charities operating in Northern Ireland and the Commission is managing the registration process by calling organisations forward in tranches to apply for registration.

Once a registration application is submitted, the Commission assesses the information and documentation provided to decide if the organisation meets the legal requirements to be considered a charity under the law.

If the application is successful, the organisation will be recognised as a registered charity, will receive a Northern Ireland Charity (NIC) number and its details will be entered onto the public register of charities.

The register of charities was recently re-launched with a new look and improved accessibility features, aimed at making it even easier for the public to search for information on individual charities as well as by sector or charitable purposes.

Organisations can also check to ensure the Commission has their details for registration application purposes, by checking the Commission’s registration list, available here.

This list details if an organisation:

  • has been registered by the Commission (and is therefore also listed on the public register of charities, including details such as charitable purposes and public benefit)
  • is closed
  • has been refused registration by the Commission
  • is required to provide further contact details for registration.


For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169 or email:

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland. It was established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008

The Act states that the Commission must keep a publicly accessible register of all charities in Northern Ireland.

Under charity law, an organisation must apply for registration as a charity in Northern Ireland, regardless of its income, size or whether or not it has received charitable tax status from HMRC, if:

  • it is an institution, that is, it is an organisation that is an independent body, the hallmarks of which include having control and direction over its governance and resources, and
  • it has exclusively charitable purposes, and
  • it is governed by the law of Northern Ireland.