The Charities Register

All registered charities in New Zealand appear on the Charities Register – an online, searchable, public database that is free to use. The Register includes information about each charity’s sector, purposes, activities, and their Annual Return. It is a charity’s responsibility to make sure this information is correct, up to date and provided to Charities Services.

You can view the Charities Register on our website.

If you’re thinking of setting up a new charity or applying to register your organisation, a useful first step is to check whether there are any other charities already doing what you are doing. To find out about existing charities, search the Charities Register on our website. Learning about existing charities can be helpful in determining what your proposed charity should look like.

For new charities, it’s also valuable to search online, and talk with community leaders to establish whether there is a clear need for your proposed charity.

Last year, there were more than 1.3 million visits to the Charities Register search page.  This is because a variety of people use the Register to find general and financial information about charities:

  • Public – to check the registration or details of a charity they are interested in supporting, make comparisons between charities and obtain statistics
  • Funders – to check the activities or details of a charity that has applied for funding
  • Local and central government – to better understand trends within the sector and to see where and how communities are responding to particular issues
  • Other charities – to make contact with other charities doing similar work
  • Charities Services – to monitor charities to ensure they remain qualified for registration
  • Media – to research for articles and find charities’ contact details.