The regulator recognises that many people give generously to good causes at this time of year, and urges those doing so to take some simple steps to ensure their donations go to legitimate charities.
To illustrate this, the commission has produced a video entitled ‘Change the Picture’ which highlights the real change people can make for those in need by giving to legitimate, registered charities. The public are encouraged to share the video on Twitter using #ChangeThePicture.
Video entitled ‘Change the Picture’
When approached for donations, research (- see endnotes), conducted by the regulator shows that only 2 in 5 donors make checks before giving.
Throughout the year the commission runs a Safer Giving campaign to encourage members of the public to make simple checks before giving to charity collections. The commission has issued ten safer giving tips to help donors identify genuine collections so they can give with confidence.
Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the Charity Commission said:
Ramadan is very much a time for giving, but unfortunately there are individuals prepared to exploit this. We want to ensure that the generous donations made by people from Muslim communities end up supporting the deserving causes for which they were intended. The commission is committed to ensuring that trust and confidence in charities remains high, so we would encourage the public to follow our simple tips before making donations.
Dr Hany El-Banna, Chairman of the Muslim Charities Forum said:
Every Ramadan, Muslims give generously to many causes in the UK and abroad. It is important that these donations do go to registered and accountable charities. I would encourage people to share the commission’s video and follow their safer giving advice to ensure that donations go to the right place.
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.
More information about giving safely during Ramadan is available on GOV.UK.
Regulator encourages donors to give safely this Ramadan - Alternative language
Notes to Editors
The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.
We are 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
Muslim Charities Forum - The Muslim Charities Forum is an umbrella organisation for Muslim-led humanitarian NGOs based in the UK http://www.muslimcharitiesforum.org.uk/.
ICM Poll Survey details - 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. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.com.