Regulator publishes new online charity register

The Charity Commission says it hopes the updated service will increase transparency by making more information available to the public

The Charity Commission has published a new version of its online register of charities

The regulator said it wanted to “widen the public’s window” on where charity money goes and the efficient use of resources by charities.

The updated site, which has gone live today, offers a wider range of information than the previous version, including whether individual charities work with professional fundraisers and whether they have specific policies in place, such as safeguarding.

It is also designed to make it easier for trustees to update their charity’s information, while new data download functions will help professionals better analyse trends and developments in the size and composition of the sector.

Financial information will include the number of staff within a charity that receive total income packages of more than £60,000 a year, and whether trustees, who are usually volunteers, are paid for their services to the charity. 

In addition, it will display the income individual charities receive from government grants and contracts.

The regulator said it wanted feedback on the new register from members of the public, funders and charities themselves.

Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: "Decisions about charitable donations are often very personal, influenced by our own life experiences, and those of our friends and family. But we know that most people share an expectation of openness and transparency from all charities.

“By widening the public’s window into how individual charities are run, and how they spend their money, we hope people will also now feel able to make more informed choices about how and where they give,” she said.

The regulator is also starting a second phase of work that will include improvements to data-sharing aspects of the register.  

This will allow web and app developers to access and analyse the data or display it on their own websites more easily in line with open data principles, and is part of the regulator’s aim for the register to better maximise the benefit charity brings to society.

The register, which the regulator said receives 40 million page views a year, can be found here

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