If you are currently involved in a contractual dispute with a support publishing firm that has claimed to be representing a registered charity and have concerns that these claims may be false, it would be advisable to contact the charity direct to verify these claims if you have not already done so. This course of action should help you to determine whether you should take further action such as bringing your concerns to the attention of the Charity Commission. If you are not aware of what the Charity Commission is, this section explains the role of this government regulator and will help you to determine whether you should contact the Charity Commission to report any concerns you may have.
The Charity Commission registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. The Charity Commission offers advice and provides a range of services to help charities run as effectively as possible. The Charity Commission also administers the online Register of Charities that publishes online information regarding all registered charities in England and Wales. The Charity Commission ensures that charities are complying with their legal obligations, enhances their accountability and encourages their effectiveness and impact. The Charity Commission also promotes the public interest in charity and the publics’ trust and confidence in charities.
The Charity Commission takes a risk-based and proportionate approach to the way they regulate registered charities. They target their resources at the highest risks to charities’ beneficiaries, assets and reputation and where they believe their intervention will have the greatest impact. Deliberate fraud and dishonesty within charities is quite low and where mistakes have been found to be made it is usually found by the Charity Commission that they have been made honestly and can be put right with help and guidance from the Charity Commission. However, where the Charity Commission has serious cause for concern that a charities beneficiaries, assets or reputation are at potential risk, the Charity Commission has major legal powers to investigate and intervene.
The Charity Commission looks to highlight and sort out problems within a charity as early as possible to ensure the charity is put back on track. The Charity Commission publishes reports regarding its regulatory work in order to help other charities benefit from where other charities have gone wrong. The Charity Commission encourages charities to report serious incidents to it so that they can provide assistance before problems may increase. The Charity Commission also offers tailored guidance for financial advisers. Members of the general public that wish to make a complaint about a charity should read the Charity Commissions’ tailored guidance to help them decide if the complaint is best directed to it.
The Charity Commission will intervene using its legal powers where there are matters of major concern in order to protect a charity. The Charity Commission needs to know if there is a serious risk of significant harm to or abuse of a charity, its assets, beneficiaries or reputation and will take action if necessary. The main issues that the Charity Commission will consider are significant financial loss to a charity, serious harm to beneficiaries, criminality within or involving a charity, sham charities set up for an illegal purpose, charities deliberately being used for significant private advantage, where a charities independence is seriously called into question, serious non-compliance in a charity that damages or has the potential to damage its reputation or the reputation of charities generally and serious non-compliance in a charity which if left unchecked could damage public trust and confidence in the Charity Commission as an effective regulator.
Making a Complaint
If you have received an unsolicited sales telephone call from a support publishing firm claiming to be calling on behalf of a registered charity and have concerns regarding the credibility of the caller or the way in which you were dealt with, you should in the first instance contact the charity direct to verify their position and to provide a personal account of your experience. In most cases, you may find that you do not need to escalate the matter any further as the charity will take the necessary action on your behalf.
If you cannot get in touch with the charity or feel your concerns have not been dealt with properly or are concerned that the charity is not practicing in accordance with their legal obligations, you should report your concerns to the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission can be contacted on 0845 300 0218 or by visiting www.charity-commission.gov.uk.
You can also put your concerns to the Charity Commission in writing to;
Charity Commission Direct
PO Box 1227
If your concerns are regarding a registered charity that is based in Scotland you will need to contact the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) to report your concerns. OSCR can be contacted on 01382 220 446 or by visiting
You can also put your concerns to OSCR in writing to;
Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)
9 Riverside Drive
If your concerns are regarding a registered charity that is based in Northern Ireland you will need to contact the Charity Commission For Northern Ireland to report your concerns. The Charity Commission For Northern Ireland can be contacted on 02890 515 490 or by visiting www.dsdni.gov.uk/ccni.htm.
You can also put your concerns to the Charity Commission For Northern Ireland in writing to;
Charity Commission For Northern Ireland
24-26 Arthur Street
Please note that TAPA has no association, link, partnership or involvement with the Charity Commission. The above details are for information purposes only that TAPA feels may be of relevance to browsers of this website.