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 encourages safer giving for Cyclone Idai Appeal22/03/2019 15:15:00
Charity Commission advises the public on donating safely to help people affected by Cyclone Idai.
Charity Commission inquiry into Khatme Nubuwwat Centre finds poor governance at the charity22/03/2019 09:05:00
A Commission investigation into reports of offensive literature on display at its premises has led to significant improvements in the charity’s governance.
Charity regulator removes two trustees for serious breaches of charity law19/03/2019 13:20:00
Charity Commission concludes its statutory inquiry into The Suyuti Institute.
Mismanaged charity shows signs of improvement following regulator's inquiry11/03/2019 09:20:00
Charity Commission reports on its inquiry into One Nation.
Charity Commission inquiry into the Ghulam Mustafa Trust finds misconduct and mismanagement at the charity08/03/2019 09:20:00
Charity dissolved and one trustee disqualified following investigation involving offensive online posting and lack of financial control.
Chair's speech to the Charity Commission Annual Public Meeting06/03/2019 16:20:00
In her speech given yesterday at the Commission APM in Manchester, Baroness Stowell calls on charities to meet public expectations, and help bridge divides in society.
CIPFA to remain as Charities SORP secretariat27/02/2019 12:20:00
CIPFA will continue to provide secretariat support for the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP).
Charity Commission and partners launch fraud resilience survey26/02/2019 15:20:00
Charity regulator works with Fraud Advisory Panel to understand charities' resilience to fraud and cyber-crime.