The Charity Commission has issued ./guidance to the public on how to give effectively and safely to charity during Ramadan.
The holy month of Ramadan is a time when many community organisations and Mosques benefit from the generosity of Muslim people. Many charities are also currently raising funds to help the people affected by the famine in East Africa at this time.
Maulana Shahid Raza OBE, Chairman of the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) said: “Many Muslims will be giving very generously during the holy month of Ramadan. There are many charities that will be fundraising at the moment, particularly for the people affected by the East Africa crisis. By donating to charities registered with the Charity Commission, donors can have additional confidence that their donation will be used properly. Registered charities also benefit from the ./guidance and advice provided by the Commission. I would like to wish everyone Ramadan Mubaarak.”
Safer giving advice from the Charity Commission
The Commission’s advice includes the following tips:
• To donate online to a particular charity, visit the charity’s website – check that you have the right web address. You can find the charity’s website address on their entry on the Charity Commission’s Register of Charities.
• Look out for registered charity numbers in adverts – it is a legal requirement for registered charities with an income above £10,000 a year to state it is a registered charity when fundraising on a range of documents, including websites, advertisements and other documents such as receipts.
• If you are in any doubt about a charity collector, collection bag or fundraising materials, check the charity’s name and registration number on the public register of charities on the Commission’s website.
• Some charities, particularly during Ramadan, fundraise through television and radio appeals. Ofcom rules about charity appeals say that they are allowed in programming only if they are broadcast free of charge, but charities can pay for fundraising adverts.
• If you receive collection bags or fundraising materials from non-charitable organisations claiming to be charitable, and/or using a false registration number, you should contact the police, your local trading standards office, the Advertising Standards Agency and your local council.
• Always check whether a collector is wearing a proper ID badge.
• Check whether a collector has authority to collect. A permit or license is usually required if raising money in a public place. Collections in private places like train stations and supermarkets need the owner’s or manager’s permission. Collections in pubs need either a license or an exemption.
• Check that the collecting tin has a seal and that it is not damaged.
• If in any doubt, send your donation directly to the charity.
• If you are concerned that you may have been targeted by a fundraising scam, you should contact the police. You should also contact the Charity Commission via its website.
Adverts on registering as a charity
The Charity Commission is also urging any organisations which are charitable and are required to register to do so online on the Charity Commission’s website. The Commission has produced some short adverts in English, Urdu and Bengali publicising the benefits of registering as a charity.