The charity regulator has launched a new version of the online register of charities, which makes more information about individual charities available to donors and the public.
The register at www.gov.uk/checkcharity receives over 40 million page views per year, and has been redesigned to increase transparency by displaying a wider range of information than before.
Where a charity has been held to account by the Commission, alerts on its entry highlight the specific action taken or underway.
Financial information available includes the number of staff within a charity that receive an income package over £60,000, and whether trustees are paid for their services. It also highlights income that individual charities receive from government grants and contracts.
The new display also shows whether individual charities work with a professional fundraiser and whether they have specific policies in place, including on safeguarding.
The new display is also designed to make it easier for trustees to access and update their charity’s information with the Commission, while there are also new data download functions to help sector professionals better analyse information about the charity sector as a whole, including trends and developments in its size and make-up.
The register also allows potential supporters – donors or grant makers – or those thinking of setting up a new charity to search for charities in their area, or to identify charities that promote a certain cause.
The Commission undertook user research whilst developing the new version, using the feedback to improve its display and functionality. It is also welcoming feedback on the new register from members of the public, funders and charities themselves.
The Commission is now moving into a second phase of work, which will include improvements to data sharing. 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 Commission’s aim for the register to better maximise the benefit charity brings to society.
Helen Stephenson CBE, 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. That’s why our new online register increases the range of information available at the click of a button.
“Recent months have demonstrated the volunteering spirit of the British public and its generous support for charities. The Commission’s online register has an important role to play in ensuring that generosity supports good causes, and we continue to urge people to check the register before donating to be sure that their money is going to a genuine charity. 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.”
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