The Charities Regulator is advising the general public to check the Charities Register as the first step when it comes to donating safely to charities this Christmas.
“Christmas is a very important time for charities when it comes to raising funds for their work. We want to ensure that people can donate to registered Irish charities and have some peace of mind. Checking the Charities Register should be the first step in this process,” Charities Regulator interim Chief Executive Helen Martinremarked.
The Charities Register is a free, online database that you can search for registered charities. The Charities Register provides information on charities, including who the charity benefits and where it operates. To access the Charity Register, visit http://www.charitiesregulator.ie/en/cra/pages/search_a_charity.
Donors can also take these steps before donating - check the charity name, logo and Registered Charity Number (RCN ) that appear on any collection leaflets; ensure any fundraising materials have clear contact and registration details for the charity; check that the person collecting the donation has official identification and has a permit to collect in that particular area; ask if the collector knows what the charity does and can give examples of its work; do not provide your personal, credit card or online account details unless you know it is a trusted source.
If you think that there is something wrong, contact the charity directly and alert them to your concerns. If any member of the public suspects that an organisation is not in compliance with the Charities Act 2009, they should contact the Charities Regulator Concerns service online at http://www.charitiesregulator.ie/en/cra/pages/raise_a_concern_about_a_charity or by phoning 01 633 1550.