Charity Commission to launch updated version of online register

The revamped register, which is expected to appear after Easter, will look different and will display information from the newly updated annual return form

Charity Commission register
Charity Commission register

The Charity Commission is about to launch an updated version of its online register of charities, including redesigned graphics and extra information on charities, such as whether they are members of the Fundraising Standards Board.

The regulator has not given an exact date for the planned launch, although it is not likely to be before Easter. The new register, which a spokeswoman says will look and feel quite different, will be launched in beta form, meaning that changes can be made based on user feedback.

Alongside the new visual elements, the register will display some of the information newly included in the annual return form, which was updated last week. Registered charities with incomes of more than £10,000 must complete annual returns within 10 months of their financial year-end.

The new details to be included are whether charities are members of the Fundraising Standards Board, whether they have written policies on selected issues including investments and conflicts of interest, and whether they are registered with any of four other regulators: the Care Quality Commission, the Homes and Communities Agency, the Financial Conduct Authority and Ofsted.

The revamped register will also display whether a charity receives Gift Aid, something that was added in the 2013 update of the annual return.

The inclusion of FRSB membership on the commission’s register has frequently been suggested by politicians and others, and has been compared to the red border around the name of charities that file their annual documents late. The latter move was initially opposed by some charities, but has also been praised by regulation experts.

Sam Younger, chief executive of the commission, said: "The carefully considered changes mean that the extra information collected and displayed will be valuable in both promoting the compliance of the sector and in helping the public to make informed decisions about charities."

A total of six million individual checks of charity details were made on the register last year, according to the commission.

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