Thursday, 16 June 2016

Donors in Hyndburn are encouraged to give safely this Ramadan

I recognises the huge generosity of Muslims during Ramadan (6 June to 5 July) and wants to remind donors of how to ensure their money gets to the good causes they want to support.

Whilst many charity collections and collectors are genuine, unfortunately there are occasions where the name and work of charities is abused.

To protect their donation and the charities they wish to support, the Charity Commission is encouraging donors to take small steps such as;

1) Checking the register of charities and the identity and licence of charity collectors before donating. Find a charity - register of charities.
2) Making sure the organisation has an official bank account so money can be traced to its usage.

The guidance relates to all types of fundraising and charitable giving, including giving to telephone appeals, television advertisements, and street fundraising. Please see the full list of tips.

Charities are also reminded that they should have in place procedures and safeguards to detect suspicious activities, protect themselves from abuse, and reassure their supporters. These include keeping stock of official fundraising material, ensuring all fundraisers comply with fundraising regulations, and informing Action Fraud if they suspect fraudulent activity.

The generosity demonstrated by constituents in Hyndburn during Ramadan deserves to reach genuine charities. I would urge people to follow the Charity Commission’s Safer Giving advice to ensure that their donations go to the right place.

Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communication at the Charity Commission, said:

“We recognise that charitable giving by Muslims increases significantly during the holy month of Ramadan, and the need to protect these donations is therefore paramount. By following our straightforward advice, donors can feel confident that their donations will be used properly and that vital funds aren’t taken away from deserving charities and causes.”

Top ten tips from the commission to make sure you give safely this Ramadan:
Before giving, check the charity’s name and registration number against the online charity search tool: Find a charity - register of charities.

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.

When approached by collectors, check whether they are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Carefully review collection bags for clothing and household goods to ascertain whether they are from a genuine charity.

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.

Don’t be pressurised to give to a collection immediately. If in any doubt, donate directly to charity.

For more information about giving safely this Ramadan, visit GOV.UK.

PR 32/16


Notes to editors
The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
Search for charities on our online register.
Details of how the commission reports on its regulatory work can be found on GOV.UK.
Ramadan this year runs from Monday 6 June to Tuesday 5 July.
The commission runs various safer giving initiatives throughout the year, particularly at times of increased giving including Ramadan, Christmas, and after natural disasters.