Donors urged to make checks when giving this Ramadan

The Charity Commission is urging people to check before they give to charity this Ramadan (29 June to 28-29 July). The regulator's research1 shows that only 2 in 5 donors make checks before giving when approached for donations and is urging the public to follow a few simple steps to ensure their money goes to a registered charity.

As part of its campaign this Ramadan, the Commission has launched a video designed to encourage people to check before they give; the video follows the journey of a young woman who wants to make sure her donations reach a genuine registered charity. The Commission says that the video is the first in a series of new media campaigns designed to encourage people to continue to 'check before they give'.

Sarah Atkinson, Head of Information and Communications at the Charity Commission said: "We know that many people will be giving very generously during Ramadan, and we want to help these donors ensure their funds go where they are intended. While most fundraising appeals are genuine, there are sadly people who exploit the generosity of others for their own gain. I hope our new video helps donors gain the confidence to check and ask before they give."

Dr Hany El-Banna, Chairman of the Muslim Charities Forum said: "We want every single penny of people's generous donations this Ramadan to reach genuine registered charities. So I welcome this campaign and encourage people to share the Commission's safer giving video and to follow the advice it contains."

Top ten tips from the Commission to make sure you give safely this Ramadan:

1. Before giving, check the charity's name and registration number against the online charity search tool: Find a charity - register of charities

2. Fundraisers require a licence from the local authority (or the Police in London) to collect in a public place. Check that they have this. If the collection is in a privately owned place, check that they have the owner's permission.

3. When approached by collectors, check whether they are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed.

4. 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.

5. Genuine fundraising materials should feature the charity's name, registered name and a landline contact number. Be wary of those that list only a mobile number.

6. Make sure when you give to radio and television appeals that the process is secure. Ofcom lists the rules for radio and television charity appeals on its website: Licensing - Ofcom website

7. Take care when responding to emails or clicking links to a charity's website to ensure that they are genuine. Instead, search online for your chosen charity to check you have the right web address. For further guidance see: Guidance for donors - Get Safe Online

8. Carefully review collection bags for clothing and household goods to ascertain whether they are from a genuine charity.

9. After making these checks, if you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and inform the Charity Commission: Action Fraud - Police

10. Don't be pressurised to give to a collection immediately. If in any doubt, donate directly to charity.

The Charity Commission's safer giving campaign runs throughout the year and works through community networks. Advice on safer giving this Ramadan can be downloaded as posters or leaflets and details about local events can be found on their website.