Charity Commission invites views on updated version of online register

Changes to the new beta version include making information about income, expenditure and contact details more prominent and a new option to download filtered searches in a table format

New-look online register
New-look online register

The Charity Commission is inviting views on a new beta version of its online register of charities, which the regulator says will make it easier to find and understand information about charities.

The commission said in a statement that although its register was viewed more than six million times a year, user research on the register in its old format "suggests that the information it provides on registered charities could be easier to find and understand".

The old register will remain available until an unspecified time later this year, and the regulator is asking users to provide comments and suggestions in a four-question online survey.

Updates to the register include making information such as income, expenditure and contact details more prominent, a new option to download filtered searches in a table format, and better mobile and tablet optimisation.

The commission is planning further updates to the new register, which will be influenced by user feedback. These will include the addition of information from charities’ annual returns, such as whether a charity pays its trustees, raises funds from the public, has a trading subsidiary and has written policies on risk management, investment or conflicts of interest, and whether it is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board or is regulated by any other government agency.

These updates will restore features such as the ability to search for objects and activities, and by the registration or deregistration dates of a charity, which are present in the old version but not the new version of the register.

The commission first announced that it would be creating a new register in April last year. In September the regulator moved from an independent website onto the gov.uk portal, after which some users complained it was difficult to find information on the new site.

The register remained on the old site in the intervening period.

The commission’s internal operational guidance for staff remains housed on a separate website.

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