This information should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice. Read the disclaimer.
It is possible to search online for charities with a registered address within specific Parliamentary constituencies. This article outlines how to search for registered charities in England, Wales and Scotland.
England and Wales
The Charity Commission for England and Wales registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. It provides a constituency search facility to find registered charities within Westminster Parliamentary constituencies. It does not identify the Welsh Assembly constituencies.
The search results are displayed on screen and may be exported into an Excel spreadsheet.
The website states that:
This search allows you to find charities based on:
- the postcode of their named contact
- the parliamentary constituency of the named contact
- the local authority area of the named contact
“Many charities operate in small local areas. For charities that work in limited areas the contact will often live in or close to that area and this search will help you to find such charities.
Please note that the search will not identify all the charities that operate in your area. To find major national charities, international charities and those that provide key services you should use the main advanced search page.”
Please note that some charities in England and Wales which are very small or for which the Charity Commission is not the main regulator, are currently excluded from the need to register (for more detail see the section “Charities that don’t have to register” in Charity Commission guidance How to register your charity (CC21b)).
The advanced search includes the option to search by local areas in England, by London Boroughs and by local areas in Wales. It includes only charities which have said they work in a specific local area. It does not include, for example, charities which have said they work throughout all of England.
How to search
- Go to the Charity Commission home page on GOV.UK
- Click on ‘Find a charity’ to reach the page Search the register of charities
- The ‘Search the register by constituency’ facility appears on this page
Advanced search by local area:
- As above, to reach the page Search the register of charities
- Click on the green box ‘Find a charity’ to reach the page Search the register of charities
- Click on ‘Advanced search’
- The advanced search page provides the option to search by local area
As stated above, the Charity Commission for England and Wales provides a search facility to find charities on the Charity Commission register within all Westminster Parliamentary constituencies.
The website of OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator, provides a facility to search the Scottish Charity Register. This includes an option to search by local authority area. It also provides a range of filters by ‘Geographical spread’.
There is a page Information for elected members which provides information about OSCR and the charity sector in Scotland, answers common questions and provides a contact for further questions. This webpage has a link to a Scottish Charity Constituency Map.
How to search
Search of register by local authority area:
- Go to the OSCR home page
- Underneath About charities, click on ‘Register search’
- The Register search page provides the option to search by local authority area
- At the same page, expand ‘Additional filters’ to refine by the ‘Geographical spread’ options
Information for elected members:
- Go to the OSCR home page
- Underneath About charities, click on ‘Information for elected members’ at the bottom right
The Commons Library does not intend the information in this article to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. We have published it to support the work of MPs. You should not rely upon it as legal or professional advice, or as a substitute for it. We do not accept any liability whatsoever for any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein. You should consult a suitably qualified professional if you require specific advice or information. Read our briefing for information about sources of legal advice and help.