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Everyone will be thinking about the Rohingya this Ramadan, and many will want to give donations.

Is it safe to give to charity?

TWO REGULATORS – the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator – have joined forces to warn donors to check up very carefully on the organisations they are giving Zakat donations to during Ramadan.

The regulators quoted the Muslim Charities Forum estimate that Muslims donated approximately £130 million to charity during Ramadan 2018. The regulators and Forum are working together to ensure that Muslims can be sure their donations are going to bona fide charities. The regulators issue similar warnings at other times of year when high levels of donations are made, such as Christmas or when there is a one-off crisis.

The regulators’ top tips for ensuring you are donating to a genuine charity are:

  • before giving, check for a charity registration number – you can verify by looking at the charity register www.gov.uk/checkcharity

  • be more cautious about people collecting for general charitable causes, such as “for sick children” – make sure you’re giving to a genuine registered charity

  • when approached by collectors, check whether they are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed and undamaged

  • if in doubt, ask the collector for more information – a genuine fundraiser should be happy to answer questions and explain more about the work of the charity

  • check if a collector has authority to collect – if they’re raising money in a public place, they’ll need a permit or license (collections in Mosques should be authorised by the trustees of the charity)

  • never feel under pressure by a fundraiser into making a donation immediately

  • if you want to donate online, type in the charity’s website address from your internet browser

  • be careful when responding to emails or clicking links within them – do not click-through from suspicious looking emails

  • if donating through an online fundraising platform, check if they’re registered with the Fundraising Regulator

The published accounts of some well known bodies show there is cause for concern over how much of the funds raised are being spent on good causes – with some charities spending a large percentage of their income on staff costs and overheads. You can look up the accounts of the charity you have in mind on the Charity Commission’s website and see how much of your money will make it through to helping people in need.

•Read more about it:
Islamic Relief backs south London Eco-Ramadan
Islamic Relief UK launches Ramadan appeal

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