Churches’ Legislation Advisory Service
CHARITIES AND CHARITY LAW
Regulators urge public to take care when donating to charity
The Fundraising Regulator, the Charity Commission for England and Wales and Action Fraud have launched their annual safer giving campaign to remind people how to give safely to charities. The campaign launch comes as new data from Action Fraud reveals fraudsters diverted more than £2.7m from charities in the last year. The data also revealed there were 501 charity fraud crime reports between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023. The Charity Commission has given the following advice for people wishing to donate to charities with confidence:
- 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 fundraiser should have a licence from the relevant Local Authority Licensing team or the Metropolitan Police (in Greater London). Never feel under pressure into donating immediately. Ask the collector for more information and if in doubt, wait and make a donation directly at a time that suits you. [Source: Charity Commission, 29 November]