How to give safely to charities
When you give to charity, make sure your donations reach the right causes.
Our latest safer giving campaign aims to help you continue giving safely to registered charities.
Giving to charity is a longstanding and important tradition and the British public are always generous in their support for charities.
Charity scams are small in number compared to how much is given safely, but the charity sector generates an annual income of nearly £75 billion making it an attractive target for criminals.
We want to make sure that the public are aware of the correct steps to follow when supporting and donating to charity, so that all donations go to the intended beneficiaries.
By making simple checks part of the routine of donating, such as checking the charity register, we can all become smarter and more conscious donors, and help promote public trust in the sector as a whole.
Key advice for safer giving
- check the charity’s name and registration number 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
- check whether street collectors are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed and undamaged
- ask the collector for more information if in doubt
- contact the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to find out more about their spending
- carefully review collection bags for clothing and household goods to check whether they are from a genuine charity
- check whether fundraising materials are genuine. They should feature the charity’s name, registered name and a landline contact number
- never feel under pressure by a fundraiser into making a donation immediately
- use the same level of caution every time you support or donate to a charity
Reporting suspicious activity
After making these checks, if you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to the police. You can also complain about a charity to us and the fundraising regulator.
If you think a collection is fraudulent report it to Action Fraud through their website or call them on 0300 123 2040.
If you think a collector does not have a licence - report it to the relevant Local Authority Licensing Team or the Metropolitan Police (if in Greater London). Also let the charity and Action Fraud know if you can.
Latest News from
Charity regulator issues formal warning to trustees of grant-making charity21/06/2019 09:20:00
Second inquiry into charity finds repeated failings by its trustees.
Charity chief executive ‘acted in self-interest’ finds regulator17/06/2019 09:20:00
Busoga Association (UK)’s chief executive acted without trustee oversight, with funds unaccounted for, finds Charity Commission
Charity Commission disqualifies trustee from Rigpa Fellowship14/06/2019 09:20:00
Trustee failed to protect people who came into contact with the charity.
Charity Commission reports on inquiry into Oxfam GB: “No charity is more important than the people it serves or the mission it pursues”12/06/2019 09:20:00
Regulator finds culture of "tolerating poor behaviour" at Oxfam GB and concludes charity “failed to meet promises made”
Charity SORP must change to meet “new public expectations”, review panel says07/06/2019 10:05:00
The SORP governance review panel says charity reporting and accounting must be refocussed with the views and needs of the users of charity reports and accounts at its centre
“No evidence of charitable activity” by mismanaged Gaza aid charity, according to critical report07/06/2019 08:20:00
Charity Commission investigation report concludes former trustees of Viva Palestina are responsible for mismanagement and / or misconduct.
New Charity Inquiry: Devon Charitable Trust06/06/2019 09:20:00
Regulator freezes charity accounts following concerns over unexplained transactions.
Regulator undercovers ‘serious abuse of charity’ at Islamic Global Trust05/06/2019 09:20:00
Charity Commission finds funds were spent on gym membership, TV subscription and debts.