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Using the Right Forms when Contacting the Charity Commission

Charities play an important role in society and people care deeply about the causes charities are involved with.  However, on occasion, someone may have a concern about a charity or group of charities and look to the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, as the regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, to take up that concern.  Their role as regulator is to work closely with charities to ensure that they are accountable, well run and meet their legal obligations in order to promote public trust and confidence.

It’s important that the Concern’s team gets the most relevant information so they can assess whether or not it is an issue the Commission can deal with.  To help them do this in a timely way they would encourage anyone with a concern to follow these steps:

  1. Consider raising the concern with the charity first.  In many cases this will allow the concern to be resolved by the charity trustees.
  2. If you are unable to raise the concern with the charity, or if you have raised the concern and no action has been taken, you should identify the most appropriate bodies to raise your concern with.  For example, if your concern relates to criminal activity by a charity, it may be appropriate to contact the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) as well as the Commission.
  3. Read the How to raise a concern about a charity guidance.  This will help you to identify when a concern about a charity needs to be raised with the Commission.
  4. Submit your concern in writing using the online Concern about a charity form.  Using this form helps the Commission collect the relevant information and assess whether they can deal with the concern, or whether they need more information, or what steps to take next.

The Commission takes a risk-based and proportionate approach to its investigatory work.  This means targeting their help and resources at the highest risks to charities’ beneficiaries, services and assets and where they think their intervention will have the greatest impact.

If you telephone the Commission to submit a concern you will be directed to the online form.  You can, however, contact the Commission if you have any specific accessibility requirements.