Charity collectors reminded to follow established guidelines
Tuesday, 22 July, 2014
West Yorkshire Police have reminded charity collectors and those making donations to follow established guidelines for giving and receiving donations, after a small number of public complaints about recent impromptu street collections.
Over the past few weeks the events in Gaza and Syria in particular, have led to increased concern among local communities, along with increased appeals and fund raising. This has been particularly the case in the recent month of Ramadan, when charitable giving in the Muslim community traditionally increases.
While spontaneous street collections are probably well intentioned, it’s difficult for the public to verify that they are giving to a genuine charity.
There are laws around collecting money for charity in public which are there to protect donors and make sure that the money raised goes to a genuine charitable cause
The Commission has the following advice for those who wish to make a donation:
Be careful when responding to emails or clicking links within them to ensure that they are genuine. If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of a request for donations that appears to come from a charity, don’t hesitate to contact that charity directly.
If you are in any doubt about a charity collector, ask for their identification and the charity’s name and registration number. If you are not happy about giving then and there, you can check to see if the charity is on the public register of charities on the Commission’s website – www.charitycommission.gov.uk.
If you are concerned that you may have been targeted by a fundraising scam, you should report this to the police. You should also contact the Charity Commission on 0845 300 0218 or via the website – www.charitycommission.gov.uk.
If you want to donate online to a particular charity, visit the charity’s website.
Think about how you are going to give. If you are a UK taxpayer and donate directly to a charity - whether online, over the phone, by post or by handing in a cheque at the charity's office or shop - it can claim Gift Aid to maximise your donation.