Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Charity Commission announces next steps in charity registration

THE Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is taking a step closer to an open charity registration process by phasing out what is known as the ‘combined list’.

A list of all organisations the Commission is aware of, which may be charities but have not been registered yet, the combined list has been an integral part of the regulator’s work to manage the registration of all charities in Northern Ireland. 

Punam McGookin, Head of Charity Services at the Commission, explained:

“We first introduced the combined list as a support tool for the public, charities and donors while we managed the registration of thousands of charities.

“The list was on our website so, if a charity was not on the public register, you could simply check the combined list and be assured we knew about the charity and they would be contacted for registration in due course.

“However, with over 7,800 charities now registered and work moving along to register the remaining charities, where eligible, our next step is to phase out the combined list and move towards a more open system of registration.”

Punam explained that it is envisaged that the combined list, which can be viewed online here, will be phased out by the end of September 2023, with the exception of what is known as section 167 charities. 

In the meantime, the registration team will be working hard to continue updating the combined list as it currently stands – removing organisations which are dormant, closed or who have failed to apply for registration and contacting those awaiting registration.

Punam said:

“We estimate there are around 420 organisations on the combined list who we aim to contact within the next few months to start their applications.

“However, there are also some 600 or so organisations we cannot contact because we don’t have a current email address and contact for the charity. If your charity is ready to register and your contact details have changed then my advice would be to submit a fresh expression of intent, via our website.

“This will support us, as the regulator, in using our limited resources to process registration applications efficiently and robustly while continuing to build a comprehensive register of charities in Northern Ireland.”  

The move to phase out the combined list is in line with one of the recommendations from the Independent Review of Charity Regulation Northern Ireland.

The public register, available on charitycommissionni.org.uk, lists all the charities registered as well as providing information such as what they do, where they work and their annual accounts for applicable years.

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