Regulators issue advice to British Muslims on donating safely to registered charities
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Ramadan is a time of huge generosity among British Muslims, and the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria, as well as the ongoing impact of the cost-of-living crisis, make it especially important that their charitable contributions support good causes through registered charities. Regulators are therefore issuing advice to remind British Muslims to make checks, ensuring their donations reach registered charities.
Most fundraising is genuine, however fraudsters and criminals sometimes take advantage of public generosity at times of increased giving, using methods such as fake appeal websites, email appeals that falsely use the name of genuine charities, or appeals from fake charities. There have been several reports of fake appeals on social media to help those affected by the disaster in Turkey and Syria. Donors have been recommended some simple steps they can take to make sure their donations reach their intended cause:
- Check the charity’s name and registration number on the Charity Register at www.gov.uk/checkcharity – most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered.
- Make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information.
- Be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them.
- Contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to understand how they are spending their funds
- Look out for the Fundraising Badge – the logo that says ‘registered with Fundraising Regulator’ – and check the Fundraising Regulator’s Directory of organisations which have committed to fundraise in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice.
- A face-to-face collector should have a licence from the relevant Local Authority Licensing team or the Metropolitan Police (in Greater London).
If after making these checks the donor thinks that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, they can report it to Action Fraud over the phone at 0300 123 2040 or online.
Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, said. “British Muslims are immensely generous in their support for good causes, especially during Ramadan. It’s vital that generosity reaches those in desperate need – whether here at home, in Turkey and Syria, or around the world. By following a few simple checks, donors can continue giving to registered charities with confidence.”
Gerald Oppenheim, CEO of the Fundraising Regulator said, “The British Muslim community are incredibly generous. This generosity enables charities both at home and abroad to undertake crucial work impacting those that need it most. By carrying out a few simple checks you can make sure that you are giving to a genuine cause and that your generously donated money reaches its intended destination.”
Fadi Itani, CEO of the Muslim Charities Forum said, “Giving to others holds spiritual significance in Islamic teachings, however this good-will can sometimes be taken advantage of. It’s vitally important for donors to give smart and give safe in order to have the most benefit to those in need. Donors must check carefully and give to only registered charities that specialise in the cause, are present in afflicted areas, and who offer regulated and secure donation methods. This will ensure that funds can have the most impact in changing and saving the lives of others.”