How charities are regulated

There are clear rules on what charities can and cannot do with their money. This means you can have confidence when you give to a registered charity that your donation will be used to make a positive difference.

The Charity Commission

The Charity Commission is the government body that regulates charities. It keeps a register of charities, which you view online to check that a charity is registered and to see its annual report and accounts.

It sets guidance on how charities must act, for example, on following certain accounting standards or not being party political, and has the power to intervene if a charity breaches its guidance.

It plays an important role in helping to make sure that when you see that an organisation is a registered charity, it must be meeting certain standards.

The people responsible for ensuring a charity follows the Charity Commission’s rules are the charity’s trustees.

You can find out more about the Charity Commission on its website.

Charity fundraising

There is a system of self-regulation for charity fundraising, where charities have agreed to work to certain standards. These are overseen and enforced by an organisation called the Fundraising Regulator. You can read more about this on our concerns about fundraising page.

Other regulation

Charities may also be subject to a number of other regulators, for example the Advertising Standards Authority in respect of their advertising, or the Care Quality Commission if they run care services. Charities have to follow the same regulation that any other organisation would do, as well as complying with charity law.