Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

Regulators share safer giving message after charities lose £2.7mn to fraudsters in past year

Melanie May | 28 November 2023 | News

A man sits at his laptop, holding his debit card. By Rupixen on Unsplash

The Fundraising Regulator, Charity Commission for England and Wales and Action Fraud are marking Giving Tuesday by launching 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 that fraudsters diverted more than £2.7mn 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 regulators are highlighted that following safer giving steps should empower people to feel reassured as they donate to genuine good causes, and not feel disheartened by the data.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Advice for donors

They recommend following the steps and tips below:

Those seeking to support local causes with an income of less than £5,000 (which are not required to be on the Charity Register) are encouraged to follow other recommended steps aside from checking the register, including getting in touch with the charity for more information.

The campaign comes ahead of the festive season – traditionally a busy time for giving.

In light of Action Fraud’s data, the regulators are also reminding charities to protect themselves against fraud this Charity Fraud Awareness Week.

Gerald Oppenheim, CEO of the Fundraising Regulator, said:

“The festive period is always marked by increased charitable giving by the British public, who are always exceedingly generous when donating to charities.


“While fraudsters continue to be creative, a few simple checks will increase the chances your donation will go to a legitimate cause. I encourage you to share this message with family and friends, particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable.


“Charities perform essential work in the UK and globally all year round, against a difficult economic backdrop, so we want to make sure that members of the public are taking appropriate measures to ensure their hard-earned money reaches the causes they care about.”

Dr Helen Stephenson CBE , Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, said:

“The incredible generosity we see from the British public stretches even further during the festive period. We want to encourage and support this incredible good will.


“Make it tougher for fraudsters by following a few quick and simple checks, such as looking up a charity on our register, before donating to a cause you care about. More than ever, it is vital every penny reaches the sector.”

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:

“All year-round, charities across the country work tirelessly to help those greatest in need. Some fraudsters may take advantage of our generosity, they may claim to be raising money for a fake organisation or impersonate a well-known charity. This can block legitimate donations, but also impact the good work of the charity.


“Most fundraising appeals are genuine, so the risk of fraud should not put you off giving to charities. Instead, follow a few simple steps to ensure your donations don’t end up in the wrong hands. Make sure you do thorough research before donating, to be confident that you are giving safely to legitimate organisations.”