Generous donors urged to give safely to registered charities this Ramadan
Regulator offers advice on ensuring charitable contributions reach the intended cause, including when giving online.
As Muslims enter the month of Ramadan, the Charity Commission is encouraging donors to take simple steps to ensure their donations reach the intended cause.
Ramadan is a time of huge generosity among British Muslims, with the Muslim Charities Forum estimating that, in previous years, UK donors have given over £130m to charity during the holy month alone*.
Recently, Muslim communities around the country have been part of efforts to relieve those in need as a result of the coronavirus emergency, including providing meals to staff at local NHS hospitals and delivering food parcels to vulnerable people of all faiths in their communities.
Increased online giving is expected this Ramadan, with a reduction in cash collections, as mosques and community centres remain closed to reduce social contact.
Most fundraising is genuine, however fraudsters and criminals may sometimes take advantage of public generosity at times of increased giving, using various methods such as fake appeal websites, email appeals that falsely use the name of genuine charities, or appeals from fake charities.
The regulator is therefore pointing to simple steps people can take to make sure donations reach registered charities:
- Check the charity’s name and registration number at 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 – it’s ok to decide not to give on the spot. Be wary of unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of and be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them.
- Exercise the same caution as with any other internet transaction, for example, to donate online, visit the charity’s own website and always type the website address into the browser yourself.
- Contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to find out more about their spending. Ask a trusted friend or relative if you are unable to research this or need a second opinion.
- Ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company.
- If in doubt about an approach, give instead to a charity that you have an existing relationship with.
The Commission’s online register also allows donors to search for charities operating within their own local authority area, or to undertake keyword searches to find charities providing specific services, such as foodbanks or support for older people.
Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, said:
We know that Muslim teaching places great emphasis on supporting those in need; we’ve seen evidence of that charitable spirit over recent weeks as our society responds to the pandemic, and we can expect to see enormous generosity continue as Muslims pay their Zakat and other contributions during Ramadan, supporting causes close to home and around the world. By giving to a registered charity, donors can be assured that their funds will be accounted for in line with the charity law framework.
Fadi Itani, CEO of the Muslim Charities Forum, said:
Ramadan may feel very different this year, as we are unable to gather together as families and communities. However, one thing we expect to remain unchanged is the huge generosity Muslims display during the Holy Month. We encourage those who can afford to give to do so generously, but to use their head as well as their heart before parting with money. That includes checking that your donations are going to a registered charity, and thinking purposefully about what you want your donation to achieve.
Notes to Editors
- *Figures around donations are always estimates. For more information please contact the Muslim Charities Forum.
- The Charity Commission is the independent regulator and registrar of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see the about us page on GOV.UK.
- The National Emergencies Trust, which the Commission helped establish, has set up a coronavirus appeal, which will see funds distributed to local communities around the UK affected by the pandemic.
- The government has published guidance on businesses and venues that should remain closed.
Press enquiries – office hours0300 065 2123
Press enquiries – out of hours07785 748787
Latest News from
Regulator bans trustee of multiple inactive charities for ‘elaborate deceit’23/07/2021 10:20:00
The Charity Commission has uncovered a trustee who controlled multiple charities and misled the regulator about his identity
“No room for complacency” – charity regulator welcomes rise in trust, but reminds charities that public expectations remain high19/07/2021 09:20:00
New research shows trust in charities is gradually recovering, to a 6-year high, and that the pandemic is having an uneven impact on charities.
Charity regulator issues alert to overseas aid charities as “more needs to be done” in preventing exploitation and abuse24/06/2021 14:43:00
The Charity Commission has issued a formal regulatory alert urging international aid charities to address remaining weaknesses in keeping people safe.
Regulator finds governance failures by the trustees of former Lancashire charity To Inspire28/05/2021 15:10:00
The Charity Commission has concluded its regulatory compliance case into the former charity To Inspire (formerly Chaigley Trust), finding governance failures by its trustees.
Kent-based equine charity operating again after charity regulator takes action27/05/2021 09:15:00
The Charity Commission has re-instated The National Equine Training Trust onto the Register of Charities, after taking action to protect the charity’s land from being lost.
Charity regulator launches inquiry into financial concerns at The Knightland Foundation21/05/2021 15:38:00
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry and appointed two interim managers to a London-based grant-making charity, due to serious concerns surrounding the charity’s governance and finances.
Poverty charity ‘intentionally abused for criminal purposes’ by two of its trustees, investigation finds20/05/2021 16:43:00
Two former trustees of a charity set up to help people living in poverty in Afghanistan intentionally abused the charity for criminal purposes, the Charity Commission has concluded.
Commission welcomes sentencing of children’s cancer charity founder for fraud and theft04/05/2021 10:05:00
The Charity Commission has welcomed the 20-month custodial sentence handed down to Colin Nesbitt for fraud and theft from a children’s cancer charity.