Contacting us

If your charity's annual return is overdue, you will need to complete it before we can respond to any other queries or requests.

We are regularly contacted with requests for information that fall outside of our remit and area of expertise, or can be found on our website. If you want to contact us about one of the following matters, please follow the guidance and related link:

You can find the answers to many of the most common questions within the 'Get answers' area on the home page of our website:

Starting up

Starting a charity and registering a charity

The Charity Commission registers existing charities. We cannot tell you whether starting a new charity is the right thing to do or advise you on whether your organisation or project is capable of being registered until you make a formal application.

GOV.UK has useful information on starting a charity:

Read our general guidance on starting a charity and our specific guidance on registering a charity:

Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

See all our information on CIOs:

Finding a charity

If you want to find a particular charity, use our advanced search tool:

Managing your charity

Have a look at our trustee handbook which sets out key material trustees should know and includes a guide to our online services:

Filing annual return and accounts

The annual return is online only; there is no paper alternative. Find out what you need to do and when in our annual return guidance and tutorials. We cannot give extensions to filing deadlines under any circumstances.

If you have to submit accounts to us, these should be in PDF format and uploaded using our online services. See:

Updating your charity's details

Use our online services to change your charity's correspondent, record a change in trustees or financial year end. We will not do this for you manually (unless your password is no longer available and your correspondent cannot be contacted). You need to use our online service:

Interpreting your governing document

You and the other trustees are responsible for reading and understanding your charity's governing document. If another organisation (such as an umbrella body) drafted your governing document, ask them for advice. If your governing document is one of our models, please read the guidance within it.

For further guidance on the most common sections in a governing document, see:

Changing your charity's name or governing document

Use our online form to tell us about or get our authority for a change to your charity's governing document:

Paying trustees

Use this tool to determine whether you need our authority to make payments to a trustee or a connected person:

Closing your charity

Use our online form to notify us that your charity has closed and needs to be removed from the register of charities:

Other online services

Find out what else you can do online:

Complaints

Complaints about charities:

Before complaining to the Charity Commission, you should read GOV.UK's guidance. This explains the type of complaints we can and cannot look into:

Unsolicited calls

If you want to stop a charity telephoning you and making unsolicited marketing calls you should register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS):

How to complain to us

If you are concerned that there's a risk of serious harm to a charity, its assets or the people it is set up to benefit, you should tell us about the issue. You will need to provide any evidence you have:

General

Need data?

We can provide a copy of the full register of charities in electronic format. However, it is subject to Crown database copyright and we will only provide it when we are satisfied certain conditions have been met. Please read our copyright policy - you should only contact us if you feel you can satisfy the conditions for the provision of this information:

Proof of charitable registration

Charity trustees can use our online services to view and print a charity certificate:

VAT, gift aid, tax relief

All tax-related matters concerning charities are handled by HMRC:

Do we need DBS (CRB) checks?

We cannot give you specific advice on whether your charity trustees or staff require DBS checks. Use the following links to see our general advice or to contact the DBS:

Need funding?

The Charity Commission does not provide funding to charities. However, there may be some charities that can help you. You can search the register of charities to find charities which provide funds to organisations or individuals. Use the dropdown menus in ‘Classification' to narrow your search.

Providing your query does not fall within one of these categories, you can contact us:

Fundraising advice

Fundraising is not itself a charitable purpose, so we cannot give advice on specific forms of fundraising. The following websites provide assistance in understanding the forms and law associated with fundraising:

The FRSB is the independent self-regulatory body for UK fundraising, and the public point of contact for complaints relating to any kind of fundraising (with the exception of those that fall within the Commission’s regulatory interest – see the category Complaints above)

Sets the standards for all fundraising including the production of codes of practice.

Plays a specialist role focused on distribution and enforcement of face-to-face fundraising.

Do you need someone to supply you with services?

The Charity Commission does not maintain lists of suppliers and cannot recommend particular businesses.

Providing your query does not fall within one of these categories, you can contact us:

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