Donate safely to charities this Christmas

December 19, 2016   //   No Comments

Charitable giving rises over Christmas and the winter period, with many charities and companies running dedicated Christmas appeals. Although the majority of charitable collections are genuine, unfortunately there are fraudsters and criminals that are prepared to take advantage of the public’s generosity and misuse charitable funds. The Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator have teamed up to set out a few simple steps that the public can take – whether donating online or in person – to ensure their money reaches worthy causes.

Donating in person:

  1. Check the charity has a charity registration number and verify this on the Charity Commission’s online register.
  2. Ask to see the collector’s ID badge.
  3. Check the collector has a licence to fundraise with the local authority or has the consent of the private site owner.
  4. Check that the charity follows the Fundraising Regulator’s guidance and Code of Fundraising Practice.
  5. Ensure the collection device is sealed and fundraising materials are in a good condition.

Donating online:

  1. Check the charity has a charity registration number and verify this on the Charity Commission’s online register.
  2. Be wary of unsolicited emails from charities you’ve never heard of or have no association with.
  3. Don’t click on links on emails – instead search online for your chosen charity to check you have the right web address and donate directly to them.
  4. Check there is a padlock symbol in the URL bar and that the web address starts with ‘https’.
  5. Ensure the charity is genuine before divulging any financial information and never share your pin number.

Never feel pressurised into making a donation immediately and if you’re still unsure, donate directly to charity through other channels. If you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to the police or Action Fraud.