Registration vital for our charities
Christmas is a traditional time of giving and many charities hope to avail of people's extra generosity over the festive period to help fund their ongoing activities and services.
However, while welcoming this generosity, I would encourage anyone giving to a charity this Christmas to undertake some simple checks to ensure their donation is going to a bona fide, open and accountable charity. It is now compulsory for all charities in Northern Ireland to be registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Registration is still a relatively new process and the commission is currently working to register the more than 7,000 charities which are believed to be operating in Northern Ireland.
At present, there are around 3,200 charities already registered - each is listed on the public register of charities on www.charitycommissionni.org.uk.
As the register grows into the definitive list of all charities in Northern Ireland, I hope it will increasingly be used to help reaffirm public trust and confidence in our vital charity sector.
Chief charity commissioner
Charity Commission for NI