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 in Northern Ireland.
In light of a Court of Appeal ruling made in February 2020, the registration of charities prior to the end of May 2019 is now considered to be void, as the decisions to register were not made at Commissioner level. The Commission would like to reassure all charities that decisions to register made by staff were based on facts as provided within the registration application and were considered to meet the legislative criteria as regards the definition of a charity. It is the level at which the decision was made that was considered by the Court, not the substance of any decision.
It is also important to be aware that the judgment does not prevent any organisation which is a charity in law from operating as a charity. Whether or not your organisation is a charity in law is determined by the wording of your governing document. Registration, which is required by the law, recognises that you are a charity, but does not make you a charity, this was done when the organisation was established with charitable purposes.
If your organisation was entered onto the register prior to the end of May 2019 you do not need to take any action at this time, and it may continue to operate as normal. A solution is being sought from the Department for Communities in order to permanently resolve the issue regarding these decisions. Further details on the Court of Appeal ruling, its impacts and FAQs can be found here.
At present, there are over 6,000 charities whose details are displayed, including those entered prior to June 2019. The Commission is continuing to build the register. You can search the information by clicking the blue box at the bottom of this page and using the search box and filters on the left of the screen. Please note that other search functionality based on status, for example charities which have ceased to exist and been removed, is not currently available using the search functionality. This information is available in the export csv.
The information contained on the register of charities is provided to the Commission by or on behalf of a charity in compliance with their legal obligations set out in the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.
This information is gathered when a charity applies to be registered and via updates made by or on behalf of a charity, for example, on the retirement and appointment of charity trustees, changes in the charity’s governing document and the annual reporting programme. The Commission cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy of information which has been supplied by third parties, and the Commission is not responsible for the consequences of any error or omissions in the information held on the register.
It is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly provide the Commission with information which is false or misleading. The charity trustees of registered charities have a legal obligation to ensure their charity’s register entry is accurate.
As information is filed electronically by or on behalf of a charity errors may occur when information is being entered. The Commission does not edit this information. Where errors are discovered or reported to the Commission they will be brought to the attention of the charity. If you notice any apparent errors in the register data please let us know by email to firstname.lastname@example.orgSearch the register of charities