Almost all collections are genuine, but some people will try to abuse the generosity of others for their own gain. In the last year 1 in 10* charities over £100,000 have been a victim of fraud and although charities are working hard to protect themselves, the Commission is working to promote safer giving amongst the public.
By following a few simple steps and, most importantly, asking questions about how your money will be used, donors can have the confidence that their money will go to charity as they intended.
Sam Younger, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission said:
“We know that only 2 in 5 charity donors make checks when approached for donations and unfortunately this allows fake collections to take vital funds away from deserving charities. If everyone that gives to a charity collection this Ramadan asks questions about how their money will be used, they can help make sure their donation truly reaches a charitable cause. Any genuine fundraiser will be happy to answer questions and every donor should only give if they are confident that a collection is genuine.”
Dr Hany El-Banna, Chairman at the Muslim Charities Forum said:
“Many people will be giving very generously this Ramadan and their donations will allow many charities to continue with their good work. We don’t want a single penny that is intended for charity to end up elsewhere – it’s therefore vital that people do ask questions before donating. By donating to charities registered with the Charity Commission, donors can have additional confidence that their donation will be used properly.”
The Charity Commission’s Safer Giving campaign runs throughout the year and works through community networks. Advice on Safer Giving this Ramadan can be downloaded as posters or leaflets and details about local events can be found on their website www.charitycommission.gov.uk.
Top ten tips from the Commission to make sure you give safely this Ramadan;
1. Before giving, check the charity’s name and registration number. You can verify this on our website: Find a charity – register of charities
2. Fundraisers require a licence from the local authority (or the Police in London) to collect in a public place. Check that they have this. If the collection is in a privately owned place, check that they have the owner’s permission.
3. When approached by collectors, check whether they are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed.
4. If in doubt, ask the collector for more information - a genuine fundraiser should be happy to answer questions and explain more about the work of the charity.
5. Genuine fundraising materials should feature the charity’s name, registered name and a landline contact number. Be wary of those that list only a mobile number.
6. Make sure when you give to radio and television appeals that the process is secure. Ofcom lists the rules for radio and television charity appeals on its website: Licensing – Ofcom website
7. Take care when responding to emails or clicking links to a charity’s website to ensure that they are genuine. Instead, search online for your chosen charity to check you have the right web address. For further guidance see: Guidance for donors – Get Safe Online
8. Carefully review collection bags for clothing and household goods to ascertain whether they are from a genuine charity.
9. After making these checks, if you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and inform the Charity Commission: Action Fraud – Police
10. Don’t be pressurised to give to a collection immediately. If in any doubt, donate directly to charity.
*Figure taken from the Annual Fraud Indicator 2013 which sampled charities with income over £100,000. The full report can be viewed at www.gov.uk