VS data resources

The following links provide a range of useful quantitative resources and sources of data for those researching the voluntary sector. Please let a member of the steering group know if you would like any of the links updating or amending, or if you have any additional resources which you would like to be linked to.

VSSN is unable to take responsibility for the content of external websites and links. 

Sector overviews


The NCVO almanac uses data from charities’ accounts, administrative data and surveys to provide an overview of the UK voluntary sector


The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) also produces a statistical overview of the voluntary sector in Scotland


Some statistics on the voluntary sector in Wales are also available from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)


The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action’s State of the Sector site provides an overview of the scale and characteristics of Northern Irelands’ voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

Charity data tools


The Charity Explorer provides data on all charities registered within a particular local authority. It also allows you to filter those charities on a range of criteria from the Register of Charities in England and Wales. It aims to make this data more accessible to a wider audience, particularly practitioners and policy makers interested in the charities registered in their local area.


The Charity Field Search Tool allows you to search the Register of Charities for England and Wales for a group of charities matching your own set of key words in their name, objects and / or activities.


This app allows exploration and visualisation of charities in Scotland. Users can not only visualise the data (via charts, maps and high level figures) but also download a subset of the main dataset as csv file to allow further exploration by the user.

Data on charities in England and Wales (individual charities)


Information on individual charities can be looked up on this website, which allows you to search via name or charity number.


More complex searches of the register can be conducted on this independent website.


Individual Scottish charities can be lookup up on this part of the Scottish Charity regulator’s website.

Data on charities in England and Wales (data files)


The charity register files are available to download in their original format at this link. Most users will need to follow the instructions provided on NCVO’s website (see the NCVO Almanac methodology pages) in order to convert them into a usable format.


Much of the charity level information in the charity register can be downloaded at this website, including some variables (such as activities) that aren’t available on the charity commission downloads.


A database of UK non-profit organisations, with consistent records drawn from UK regulatory sources. Data can be accessed on individual records or downloaded in bulk.

Charity registers for Scotland and Northern Ireland


The Scottish Charity Register is available from OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator


The Northern Ireland Charity Register from the ‘Charity Commission for Northern Ireland’

International data sources


The Irish Charity Register from ‘The Charities Regulator’


Charity data from the US and international sources

Other voluntary sector data sources


Several datasets created and compiled by the Third Sector Research Centre during its initial funding from the ESRC and Cabinet Office is available from the UK data service here.


360Giving supports organisations to publish their grants information in an open, standardised way, using the 360Giving Data Standard. You can download data files for individual grant makers from a central Data Registry or combined data from their search tool GrantNav. Their website also contains useful resources such as an active blog.

Other networks and useful sites


David Kane is a freelance data scientist and researcher, specialising in data for, by and about charities and wider civil society. His website contains a blog and links to a range of further resources.


Think Data Scotland: The Scottish Network for Third Sector Data – a network set up as part of a workshop programme funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute on “Big Data and the Third Sector”. A network focussed on the use of third sector data which contains a range of resources, blogs and webinars.


As well as publishing their deal level data to the 360Giving Data Standard, Big Society Capital have produced a range of visualisations and interactive dashboards to explore their data


The NCVO almanac methodology pages have lots of useful information on charity data, including how to download the .bcp files from the charity commission and convert them into a usable format.


Nottingham Trent Business School, Sheffield Hallam University and NCVO have been running a monthly barometer survey and dashboard updates looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Voluntary Sector.