Registered Charities

Benefits for the public

In short, the Charities Register will help the public to make better-informed decisions about charities they may wish to support financially, volunteer for, or whose services they may wish to use.

The Charities Register makes it easy for people to:

To find specific information about charities - for example, their activities, charitable purpose, and financial position visit the Register.

What information is on the Charities Register?

The Register shows the following information about each charity:

The Register also shows each notice of change and Annual Return (including financial statements) filed by the charity.

Charities Services restricts public access to certain information and documents if it considers it in the public interest to do so. This means that in some cases, we do not show particular information on the public Register. See our information sheet Restricting information.

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What other tips are there for donors?

(Note: for donations made through payroll giving, you won't receive a receipt issued by the donee organisation. Instead, your pay slip will show the amount of the donation made and the tax credit received.)

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What can I do when a collector knocks on my door or phones me?

Anyone being asked to volunteer or donate to a charity – or a particular cause, such as emergency disaster relief being supported by a charity – might like to keep the following helpful tips in mind, and refer to the information on the Charities Register before making important decisions about whether to support a particular charity:

Find out who's asking

Many phone calls or on-street collectors requesting charitable donations represent profit-making agencies who keep a portion of your donation for themselves, or charge fees for their fundraising services. Find out if the person with whom you are speaking works for a telemarketing or fundraising company, or whether they are a volunteer or employee of the charity itself. If they belong to a profit-making agency, you may also like to ask whether they are a member of the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, and comply with its Codes of Ethics and Practice.

Ask where your donation goes

Professional, profit-making telemarketers and fundraising agencies negotiate their fees before undertaking any work, and know exactly how much of every dollar raised goes to the charity and how much they charge for their services. You may like to ask the person requesting your donation to tell you how much of your donation will actually end up with the charity. If they are unwilling to provide this information, you may wish to consider carefully whether you wish to donate in this way. You can also ask whether the charity they are collecting for is registered with Charities Services, and ask for its registration number. By law, they must tell you this.

Do some research

We suggest that if approached for a donation, or if you want to choose a charity to donate to, that you take a look at the Charities Register – firstly to see if the charity is registered, and if it is, to look at the financial and other information it has provided to Charities Services. You can search the Register online, or call our free information line 0508 CHARITIES to look up information for you

Registration is voluntary though, so although Charities Services has now registered more than 25,000 charities, all of whom have proven they have a genuinely charitable purpose, not all charities have chosen to apply.

Remember too, that charities can present their financial accounts in any way or format they wish. The Charities Act does not require any particular format or standard, so we suggest you read the charity’s Financial Performance and their Financial Position statements to get a clearer picture, and contact the charity if you have any questions.

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