At present, if you search the New Zealand Charities Register using the criteria on the Search page, you can generate a list of charities that – for example – operate in a particular area, work in a particular sector, and/or help a specified group of beneficiaries.
However, the Commission is developing a new “advanced” search function that will allow users to download sets of data about charities. For example, it could be possible to search for “all charities that act as an umbrella/resource body, operate in the Wellington area, received donations of more than $40,000, and whose main beneficiaries are children and young people”, or any other combination of search criteria. This will enable the data from the Charities Register to be “opened up” more widely, and allow researchers, fundraisers and others to find useful and relevant information about charities.
The New Zealand Charities Commission hopes that “Opening Data” will help to make the sector more transparent. It should be a valuable tool for enhancing trust and confidence in the sector, and to increasing knowledge and understanding of what charities do and achieve. Open data will open up charity data to third party web developers and add value to current and new web applications and services that will benefit both the public and charities.
This “Open Data” will be developed and introduced in two stages during the next six months – firstly to other government users (so it can be tested it in a “real life” environment and develop some case studies), and then publicised more widely to charities and others.
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