Most charities in England and Wales have to register with us. If you think that your organisation is a charity or if you plan to set up a charity, call our contact centre on 0845 300 0218. More information on registering as a charity can be found on this site under Registering A Charity
Register of Charities
We are responsible for maintaining the Register of Charities, which you can view on our website, or at any of our offices. You can find more information about using the Register in our publication CC45
Making Charities Accountable
Charities with yearly incomes over £10,000 must by law send us their accounts and report every year within 10 months of the end of their year-end. These are publicly available and CC45 the Register of Charities - Information and services available tells you how to get hold of these. The accounts help people to inform themselves about individual charities. We use them (together with the Annual Return which charities in this income bracket also have to complete within the same 10 month deadline) to identify areas where we can help a charity improve. We take seriously the deadlines for providing us with this information and more information on this is available on our Meeting Our Requirements pages and we name charities that have seriously defaulted on these legal obligations on our Defaulting Charities finder facility.
Equipping Charities To Work Better
We do this by providing advice and guidance to 24,000 charities each year, in addition to the 250,000 calls to our Contact Centre and 12 million hits on our website where we publish all our publications, other useful guidance and operational guidance. We also visit several hundred larger charities every year, as part of our Review Visits programme, and modernise charities by making schemes. Our programme of Regulatory Reports highlights good practice to help charities improve their own performances and learn lessons from others.
Meeting Our Requirements
We aim to identify and resolve problems with individual charities at an early stage. But while the amount of deliberate fraud or dishonesty within charities is low, the commission has strong legal powers to investigate and deal with it when it occurs.
Our main priority is to ensure the charity is back on track to carry out its work for the future. We publish reports of all our inquiries to help other charities learn lessons.
People with concerns about a charity should read our publication CC47 Complaints About Charities to see if their concern is something we can address and, if so, how to raise it with us.
We can’t do it all! Our Useful Links page has details of other regulators (for example, the Inland Revenue or the Housing Corporation) who are responsible for overseeing specific aspects of charities’ operations or specific groups of charities. There are also links to the websites of a number of other bodies who can provide training, advice, grants and other resources.
If You Think We’ve Got It Wrong
If you have a complaint about the standard of service you receive, we have a complaints procedure. If you are dissatisfied with a decision make, you can in certain cases ask us to review it or appeal to the High Court.