Personal information charter

How the Charity Commission treats your personal information and how to check what details they have for you.

Our personal information charter

To fulfil our statutory role we are required to collect and process personal data. This information charter sets out what you can expect from The Charity Commission in respect of information we request or hold about you.

When we ask for your information we will:

  • explain why we need it
  • only ask for what we need
  • protect it and make sure no one else can access it
  • not keep your data for longer than we need, and;
  • only share it when the law obliges us to do so.

From you, all we ask is:

  • any data you give us is as accurate and up to date as possible
  • you notify us as soon as possible if it changes

Find out more about how we use and protect personal data

If you want to see what data of yours we may hold, you can email us at

Privacy notice - how we use your information

The Charity Commission is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller and our Registration number is Z5640596.

Find out more about the data we collect and what we do with that data.

1. Visitors to our websites and regulatory updates

The Charity Commission disseminates quarterly communications using email addresses provided at a number of points including:

  • through the registration process
  • via the annual return
  • individual subscription
  • through attendance of training, outreach and consultations.

This is to ensure charities are aware of necessary regulatory information. In respect of newsletters, policies and operational case reports, we gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies including clear gifs to help us monitor and improve our services.

2. Information we may collect from you

The type of personal data we may collect from you varies in regards to the nature of the engagement or activity may be involved with. For example, the need to collect personal data will arise in regards to all of the Charity Commission’s statutory functions as a regulator. This may include, amongst other things the registration process for a new charity, case work such as the investigation of an allegation made concerning the misappropriation of charity funds or in relation to requests for information under any relevant legislation.

Some examples of the type of personal data we may collect include during the normal course of work: (this list is not exhaustive):

  • name and date of birth
  • contact details – email, home address etc.
  • physical or mental health details
  • racial or ethnic origin

Further examples of personal data we may collect:

  • religious or other beliefs
  • political opinions
  • sexual life
  • trade union membership
  • offences (including alleged offences)
  • criminal and legal proceedings, outcomes and sentences
  • employment and education details
  • visual images, personal appearance etc.

Information regarding the factors we consider when sharing personal data are available from our Personal Information Charter

3. Registration of charities

In order to determine whether organisations are charities, necessary information is obtained as determined by the terms of the Charities Act 2011. Consequently the data collected at this point is to enable such assessment and is retained for the statutory purposes outlined in What we do.

The personal data we collect at the point of Registration will only be used by the Charity Commission within the remit of our statutory functions and will only ever be shared internally and/or externally as necessary under the law and for the performance of our functions.

4. Updating of and provision of information

The information we collect via the annual return may be shared internally and externally as necessary. Internally in order to discharge any of our statutory functions and, externally, where we are required to do so by law or otherwise necessary in performing our own statutory functions, objectives and duties.

Find out more about the annual return.

The Commission may contact you, using the information you have provided to us to notify you of changes to the law and our guidance, in furtherance of our objective of ensuring compliance with legal obligations and also our function of encouraging and facilitating the better administration of charities.

5. Use of your data

We will never disclose your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes. There are circumstances where we may disclose your personal information, including but not limited to:

a. when we are required to do so by law

b. in connection with any ongoing or prospective legal proceedings

c. to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights

d. in order to assist, or is relevant to, the discharge of any other body or person discharging functions of a public nature

e. so that we can properly carry out our statutory objectives, functions and duties

f. to undertake data analysis, testing, research and statistical analysis and/or improve the accuracy of our records

Where we are required to disclose personal data to a relevant regulatory/enforcement body consent for sharing is not required.

Information we receive from other sources:

We may combine information from other sources with information you give to us and information we collect about you. We may use this information and the combined information for the purposes set out above (depending on the types of information we receive).

We will ensure that any such disclosure and use is proportionate, considers your right to respect for your private life; and is done fairly and lawfully in accordance with the data protection principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.

6. Your right of access to the personal data we collect

The Charity Commission is committed to being as open and transparent as possible when handling your personal data and in giving you access to the personal data we may hold on you. You may contact us on to access personal data we hold about you. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • tell you what the personal data is
  • tell you why we hold it
  • provide you with a copy of the information

The Charity Commission strives to attain the highest standards when collecting and using personal data. As such we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously and we encourage individuals to contact us if they think either our collection or use of personal data is unfair, unlawful, misleading or inappropriate. We also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.

This privacy notice is drafted to be as succinct as possible and does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of the Charity Commission’s collection or use of personal data. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation you may require and any requests for this should be sent to

Information for visitors to our website and our cookie policy.

Complain about a response to request for information

We may not always be able to release all of the information you have asked for. This might be because certain information is exempt from release to the public.

You can ask us to review our response within 28 days of receiving it.

For more information, read our complaints about FOI or subject access guide (PDF, 120KB, 5 pages) .

Tell us why you think our decision is wrong and exactly what additional information you would like us to release.