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Charity Commission might no longer provide copies of governing documents

Charity Commission might no longer provide copies of governing documents

As part of my work as a prospect researcher, I frequently request copies of governing documents from the . However, I have just been told by the that as I "have requested multiple copies of governing documents", I can no longer expect to receive the documents within the normal 15 day turnaround. They can still meet my request, but it may be some weeks before they do so. I have no idea how long that might be. I have been told that the has communicated this change in their practice to “several banks and another company apparently undertaking similar work" to me. The advised me to contact the charity rather than face the delays resulting from making such a request to the Commission. Past experience tells me that this will not always prove successful.

Have any other researchers (or e.g. trust fundraisers) been told the same thing? If money is tight, why doesn’t the Charity Commission run a practice similar to e.g. Companies House Direct, whereby we pay £1 per document?

It is very inconvenient that the Charity Commission has introduced this change of practice with no warning whatsoever. Hopefully, it will only apply to nuisances like me who regularly research newly registered trusts, each month, but who knows?

I wonder how this new practice sits with their responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act?

Finbar Cullen, ResearchPlus

Finbar Cullen established ResearchPlus in 2005 to provide fundraising research services for the not-for-profit sector. He researches people, companies and grant-making trusts and foundations, mostly in the UK, but also other parts of the world. Finbar has published directories of “unpublished” grant-making trusts (registered with the Charity Commission and with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), and each month he contributes to The Trust List, highlighting newly registered grant-making trusts worthy of particularly close attention.

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