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Charity Commission takes search tool to beta



Regulator seeks user feedback on site built as open data platform

The Charity Commission has released a beta version of a new online charity search tool, asking users to provide their views on how it works.

It follows the Commission finding from user research that its current online service for looking for information on charities, which is viewed more than 6 million times a year, could be easier to find and understand.

It includes an online survey to encourage feedback and is being built on an open data platform to encourage the re-use of information. Among the improvements claimed is the ability to search for and download information on CSV files, which often make it easier to re-use.

Among the other improvements claimed is that: key information, such as charities' income, expenditure and contact details, is more prominent; it is easier to view on mobile phones and tablets; filtered searches can be downloaded; the look and feel is consistent with

There are plans for further updates, including information on whether a charity: pays its trustees; uses a commercial participator to raise funds; is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board; has a trading subsidiary; makes grants to other charities; has written policies on safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries, risk management, investment or conflicts of interest; is regulated by or registered with agencies such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission.

Sarah Atkinson, director of policy and communications at the Charity Commission, said: "The new online charity search tool will help make charities more accountable to the public, and help the public to access the information they need to support charities with confidence."

The existing search tool will remain available until later this year.

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