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 search facility to find registered charities within Westminster Parliamentary constituencies. It does not identify the Welsh Assembly constituencies.
The list is derived from the postcode of the charity’s named contact. The website states that:
“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.”
There is a download option limited to Members of Parliament and Welsh Assembly Members. This is restricted in order to protect charities from unsolicited commercial mailing.
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)).
Local authority areas
There is also an option to select a local authority area. This covers the whole of the UK. It works on the local authority area of the named contact and therefore the same provisions apply.
How to search
- Go to the Charity Commission home page on Gov.UK.
- From the home page go to Find charities.
- Click on Advanced search.
- From the list on the left hand side of the screen, click on Search by charity contact postcode. Within this screen there is an option to select either a constituency or a local authority 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 an option to find Scottish charities by Scottish Parliament constituency. It also provides an option to find charities by local authority area.
How to search
- Go to the OSCR home page
- On the home page look at the list underneath About charities and click on Information for Elected Members
- Expand the tab Information about Scotland’s charities
- Click on either:
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.
Image: Macmillan Cancer Support Charity Shop – North Street – Midhurst, West Sussex / Brian Chadwick / CC BY-SA 2.0