With compulsory charity registration set to begin before the end of this year, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is urging charities to take some initial steps to prepare for registration.
And, to support charities in doing just that, the Commission has today published new guidance providing information and advice on when, how and why charitable organisations will be called forward to register.
Frances McCandless, Commission Chief Executive, commented: "Registration will bring a number of benefits with it, including helping charities to demonstrate that they are open, accountable and transparent.
"Applying for registration as a charity in Northern Ireland shouldn’t be a daunting process, as the information required is information that charities should be keeping anyway.
"However, we do understand that registration is a new process, which is why we have today published our new Registering as a charity in Northern Ireland: guidance to help support charities."
According to estimates, there are between 7,000 and 12,000 charities in Northern Ireland so registration will be a managed process expected to take at least three to four years to complete.
The Commission will call charitable organisations forward to apply to register in set tranches over coming years, with each tranche drawn from the Commission’s registration lists.
Charitable organisations can take some initial steps to prepare for registration by checking online here to see if they are on the Commission’s deemed list, that their details are correct or if there are any other steps they need to take.
Frances continued: "It is compulsory for all charities operating in Northern Ireland to apply for charity registration when called forward by the Commission.
"However, in order to be invited forward by the Commission, we will need to have your correct details first so we can contact you when the time comes to invite you forward to register.
"I would encourage all organisations that are, or could be, charitable to check if they are on our deemed list of charities and, if not, or their details are incorrect, to let us know by following the steps outlined on our website."
All charities which are successfully registered by the Commission will be listed on the Commission’s public register of charities, which will be available on www.charitycommissionni.org.uk after registration begins.
For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169 or email: email@example.com