Charities Aid Foundation launches online charity search facility

Charity Trends website will, says CAF, make it easy to find out information about a charity, such as its location and income

Charity Trends website
Charity Trends website

The Charities Aid Foundation has created a website that allows visitors to search for charities according to 17 different characteristics, including location, mission, income and number of employees or volunteers.

Charity Trends draws on data submitted digitally by charities to the Charity Commission on annual returns.

"This information was previously freely available on the commission website, but it would have involved trawling through thousands of sets of accounts," said Richard Harrison, director of research and insight at CAF. "This is public data, and the public should be able to use it easily."

He said that the new site, which is free to use, is part of CAF's mission to help charities work more efficiently and effectively, and that it had cost less than £50,000 to collect and publish the data.

Information will be updated each month as annual returns are submitted to the commission.

Harrison said charities could use the data in various ways. "For example, you can find grant-makers in your region and rank them by size," he said.

"You can measure whether other charities' donations have risen or diminished."

Harrison said he hoped that charities would eventually be required to submit their accounts to the commission in a digital format, in a manner similar to that already required of organisations by HM Revenue & Customs, which would increase the amount of data available on the website.

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