Press release

Giving safely at Christmas - video

Third in the commission's series of safer giving videos, this video supports #GivingTuesday and explains how to give safely at Christmas.

The Charity Commission has today released a short animated video designed to emphasise its Safer Giving messages, coinciding with Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, launched by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in the UK.

In 2012, an ICM poll* commissioned by the regulator highlighted that 85% of people gave directly to charity at Christmas, donating an average of around £40 to the good causes they cared about. One of the groups least likely to make any checks before donating was young people. At that time, 78% of respondents aged 18-24 stated that after taking the poll they would be more likely to make checks in the future. The video serves as a timely reminder in the run up to Christmas.

The video, which can also be viewed on the commission’s YouTube channel, has been launched in support of Giving Tuesday (2 December) as a world-wide day of giving.

Charity Commission - safer giving at Christmas

Paula Sussex, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, said:

It’s great that people continue to give generously at Christmas and we’d like to remind the public that by taking a few small steps you can ensure that your money goes to the right place. Whilst instances of fundraising fraud are rare, they sadly do occur, and the public has a key part to play in keeping charities accountable by using the resources available to them to make those checks. On this Giving Tuesday I would encourage people donating to charity to watch our video, and to make sure they’re giving safely both today and throughout the year.

To give safely this Christmas, follow these tips:

  1. Before giving, check the charity’s name and registration number. You can verify this at www.gov.uk/charity-commission. The charity’s profile shows whether or not the organisation is up to date with its annual reporting requirements.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Look for the FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation, encouraging you to give with confidence. www.givewithconfidence.org.uk

  6. To check whether a fundraiser is authorised to collect money in a public place, contact your local authority or, if in London, the police. If it is a private place, check with the owner.

  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 favourite charity to check you have the right web address.

  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.

  10. If in any doubt, contact your favoured charity direct to make a donation.

Find out more about Giving Tuesday at www.givingtuesday.org or follow #GivingTuesday

*ICM interviewed a random sample of 1160 adults aged 18+ via telephone in the UK between 30 November and 2 December 2012. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. The ICM Poll looked at checks donors make before giving; other findings included:

  • 39 per cent of donors ask collectors for ID or question them about the organisation

  • Respondents aged 18-24 and over 65 are least likely to make checks before donating, with 49% and 46% respectively failing to do so

  • Overall, women make more checks than men, with 30% of female respondents checking for a registered charity number when approached, compared to 24% of males

  • Men give an average of £52 directly to charities at Christmas time, with women donating an average of £27

The most popular ways of giving at Christmas time are purchasing Christmas cards and other goods (64%), cash collections (53%), raffles and lotteries (44%) and bag/household goods collections (43%).

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Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.

  2. Our mission is to be the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that:

    • Charities know what they have to do
    • The public know what charities do
    • Charities are held to account

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