The Charity Commission has launched a new version of its public register of charities.
The revised register aims to increase transparency in the charity sector by displaying a wider range of information than before. This includes highlighting:
- ‘Regulatory alerts’ to show a charity has been held to account by the Commission and the specific actions taken or under way.
- Financial information, including the number of staff within a charity with an income of over £60,000 and whether trustees – who are usually volunteers – are paid for their work for the charity.
- Income that charities’ receive from government grants and contracts.
- Whether individual charities work with professional fundraisers and if they have specific policies in place, such as safeguarding.
New tools will also make it easier for charities to update their information with the Commission, and allow potential donors or those thinking of setting up a charity to identify other charities promoting a certain cause. Data download functions will help people better analyse information about the sector as a whole.
The Commission have asked for feedback on the register from charities, funders and the public.
Helen Stephenson, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, said: ‘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.
‘I also hope that the new register display will encourage charities to continue to respond to growing public expectations around transparency and accountability. We know the public expect the way charities go about their work to be consistent with the spirit of charity, and the new mirror we are holding up to the sector should help charities respond to those expectations.’