FMO has a long history of supporting charities to raise money for our brothers and sisters in need of help, and especially for refugees and people affected by war and conflict.
We know many in our community join us in this spirit, as do the Muslim population across the UK. According to the Charity Commission, Muslims in Britain donate around £100 million during Ramadan alone.
Sadly, this willingness to help is often exploited by unwanted actors. In unsafe places, where unrest and instability abound, dangerous groups can readily take advantage of the situation by channelling well-meaning donations to non-aid related causes.
This isn’t to say you should stop donating altogether, but that you should exercise increased vigilance when you do.
With help from the Charity Commission’s advice page, we’ve outlined a few steps to take before offering your money.
Firstly, and arguably most importantly, verify the charity’s registration number by searching for it on the Government’s charity register.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to contact the charity if you have any questions or concerns. Anyone collecting for the charity in a public place should be happy to answer any queries, too. If not, best to do more research or avoid entirely.
Lastly, use common sense. If something seems iffy, or the charity is raising money for a cause that seems unusually vague (eg. “for sick children”), use caution before donating. This is particularly important on the internet, so be wary of suspicious emails or social media posts.
For more information on safe giving, be sure to visit the Charity Commission website.