Compulsory registration of charities in Northern Ireland began on Monday 16 December 2013.
It is estimated that there are between 7,000 and 12,000 charitable organisations currently operating in Northern Ireland so registration will be a managed process with organisations called forward in tranches by the Charity Commission to register.
You can check to see if your organisation is listed in a current tranche using the links below. Future tranches will also be published on this page in coming months.
The Commission will be in touch with organisations listed in each tranche to invite the organisations forward to register and provide further information on the next steps they will need to take.
It is important to note that each tranche may be subject to change. Some charities, for example, may come forward to alert the Commission that they wish to be assessed as a grouped registration or that the charity is now closed or merged and can be removed from the tranche.
You can find out more information about the Commission’s registration tranches using the questions below:
Frequently asked questions
How does the Commission create a tranche?
The Commission creates each tranche from its deemed, non-deemed and special circumstances lists. Organisations in each tranche are selected from each list using the following system:
- deemed list: organisations randomly selected using a computer formula
- non-deemed list: in order of date of application
- special circumstances list: in priority date order, determined by the Commission.
Why aren’t all the tranches public yet?
The Commission is working to ensure that each tranche is as up to date as possible before it is published. However, each tranche is a live document and the list may change as the Commission learns that charities have closed, merged or will be called forward early, late or as a grouped registration.
What is grouped registration?
Some organisations, for example parent teacher associations, operate as individual groups but are closely linked under a wider, regional or national organisation. These organisations may be able to apply as a grouped registration under an approved governing document. You can find out more information about grouped registration and approved governing documents in our Registering as a charity in Northern Ireland: guidance.
How do I know you have my details to be called forward?
The three registration lists (deemed, non-deemed and special circumstances) have provided the Commission with a database of Northern Ireland organisations to work with. Organisations from the three lists will be called forward by the Commission to apply to register in tranches over coming years.
You can check if your charity is on one of the registration lists, that the details are correct and for any steps you may need to take to alert the Commission to your organisation here.
I am on one of the tranches but I haven’t heard anything from the Commission?
The Commission will endeavour to contact all organisations on each tranche by email or letter, where contact details are available. However, we are aware that the deemed list does not provide a complete picture of the charitable landscape in Northern Ireland – some charities on the list may have merged, closed or changed their contact details since the list was created.
We would urge all charities to check the deemed list and, if their details are incorrect, to contact the Commission as soon as possible by emailing the organisation’s name, contact details and the information to be updated to email@example.com
Can I be added to a forthcoming tranche?
If you have checked the current tranche lists and your organisation is not listed but there are special circumstances which require you to apply for registration early, for example you are a new charity and wish to apply to HMRC for charitable tax exemption, please complete the Expression of intent form, outlining the special circumstances which apply to your case.
How many charities are in each tranche?
It is envisaged that each tranche will contain the names of around 200 organisations, however this number will vary as the Commission manages the flow of registrations, depending on the speed and complexity of cases.
How long will it take to register all charities currently operating in Northern Ireland?
There is currently no definitive way to know exactly how many charities there are in Northern Ireland. However, it is estimated that there are between 7,000 and 12,000 charitable organisations. Given the estimates, registration will be a managed process with charitable organisations called forward by the Commission in tranches to apply to register. This process is expected to take at least three to four years.
What is the deemed list – can I check if my organisation is on it?
In order to work with, and regulate, charities in Northern Ireland, the Commission must first be able to categorise which organisations are charities. Until the register of charities is completed, this is technically not possible.
In the interim, the law in Northern Ireland deems charities to be organisations granted charitable tax exemptions through Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The “deemed list” of Northern Ireland charities, created on 18 August 2013, covers over 7,000 charities and can be viewed online here.
This list, however, presents only a partial picture of the true landscape - many charities do not apply for charitable tax exemption and therefore do not appear on the list, while some charities on the list may have merged or closed, despite remaining registered with HMRC for tax exemptions and Gift Aid.