New working group to examine impact of a charity registration threshold

9 Mar 2023 Denise Copeland    Last updated: 6 Apr 2023

The Department for Communities has set up a Registration Threshold, Registration and Proportionality of Annual Reporting Working Group to commence the work on introducing a threshold for charity registration. 

The Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey, instructed the Department to develop policy and begin to draft legislation that would see the introduction of a £20,000 threshold.  The Working Group will also examine proportionality in annual reporting and other registration issues. 

The Working Group is made up of officials from the Department for Communities, the Charity Commission and two voluntary and community reps, Denise Hayward, CEO, Volunteer Now and Denise Copeland, Governance and Charity Advice Manager, NICVA. 

The terms of reference and work plan were considered at the first meeting and the working group will meet bi-monthly.  It is not envisaged that there will be any changes implemented in the very near future.    In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to find out more details about this work or share your own experiences.


Most support networks and umbrella organisations would have attended one of the engagement meetings held by the Independent Review of Charity regulation Panel in March 2021 and highlighted the negative issues that compulsory charity registration was having on very small organisations.  Unfortunately, the Panel’s final report which was published last January, did not recommend the introduction of a registration threshold as 61% of those who completed the online consultation questionnaire didn’t agree with it. 

NICVA wrote to the Minister for Communities in March last year to highlight that the Report did not fully reflect the voice of the networks at those engagement meetings who highlighted the issues that their members were having with the charity regulations. 

We also gave evidence on the consultation for the Charities Act (NI) 2022 in the previous year, for the need to include a charity registration threshold and encouraged the Department to use its powers to introduce a charity registration threshold once the Act becomes legislation.

The Charities Act (NI) 2022 includes the power for the Department to introduce a threshold by further regulations in the future.  As there was no timescale set for this work NICVA, along with Volunteer Now and The Fermanagh Trust wrote to Minister Hargey in October asking her to introduce an income or capital asset threshold of £20,000.'s picture
by Denise Copeland

Governance and Charity Advice Manager

[email protected]

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