The Charities Commission has recently published all the data from its Charities Register as Open Data. Sandra Bennett, Communications Manager, says "We now have an Application Programming Interface (API) that we are encouraging web and software developers to access, so they can make use of the information we hold about charities, their activities, their finances, their staff and volunteers, and where they are operating."
Feedback seems to point this being one of the most complex and potentially valuable datasets that has yet been made available as Open Data. It appears to be one of the first “dynamic” datasets to have been published as it’s updated daily.
All the registered charities’ data has always been in the public domain on the Register, but the Commission hopes that also making it available as Open Data will encourage greater use of it, and put the data to work to benefit the sector, the people and causes that charities are helping, and the wider New Zealand economy and community.
The Commission has been working with the online community to further develop documentation about the data, and is also supporting the development of a series of online tutorials through Mix and Mash that will help “novice” developers to create their own applications using the data.
More than 25,500 registered charities have contributed to the dataset through the information in their application records and Annual Returns. We keep adding new data every day, as we receive Annual Returns and register new charities.
In addition to the API, the Charities Commission has created a new “Advanced Search” on their website, that can be used to access all the Register data. Researchers can use it to find out and compare information about all charities that are registered.
The Advanced Search results come as a downloadable .csv file that can be opened in a spreadsheet - which you can then sort, total, graph etc. as needed.