Charities Regulator urges Longford public to be vigilant regarding house-to-house collections

Longford Leader Reporter

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Longford Leader Reporter

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The Charities Regulator has urged the public to take steps to ensure that unwanted clothing and other items they intend to donate to charity through house-to-house collections, actually go to registered charities.

“Our compliance team received a steady flow of concerns from the public during 2017 about individuals and organisations who are carrying out house-to-house collections, but are not registered charities,” Charities Regulator Chief Executive John Farrelly said.

“In many cases people are donating valuable items and, if they want these to go to charity, they must be vigilant.”

During 2017 the Charities Regulator received 30 reports from the public, expressing concern about people and/or organisations operating house-to-house collections of unwanted clothing and other goods, and whether or not they were registered charities.

“We are concerned not only by the quantity of reports we are receiving, but also the increasing trend in this regard,” Mr Farrelly said. As a result of the level of public concerns being raised, the Charities Regulator today published a public update on the issue.

Before making a donation, potential donors should ensure they are satisfied that the organisation they are making a donation to is a registered Irish charity.

Leaflets and bags received for clothing collections from registered Charities should clearly display the following in respect of the charity:
§ The charity’s name;
§ The charity’s logo;
§ Registered Charity Number and
§ Contact details for the charity.

One of the functions of the Charities Regulator is to maintain a register of charitable organisations. All charitable organisations that intend to operate or carry on activities in the State are required to apply to the Charities Regulator for inclusion on the register. The register is available online and can be accessed by the public.

Potential donors can ensure an organisation seeking a donation is a registered charity by checking the register at the link below:
https://www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie/en/cra/pages/charitysearch

Under Section 41 of the Charities Act 2009 it is an offence for any person to advertise on behalf of, to invite members of the public to give money or property to or to accept such money or property on behalf of an charitable organisation that is not registered, or for an unregistered charitable organisation to carry on such activities.

It is also an offence under Section 46 of the Act for a body (other than a registered charitable organisation), to describe itself or its activities in a manner that would cause a member of the public to reasonably believe that the body was a charitable organisation.

If a member of the public suspects that an organisation is not in compliance with charity law they should contact the Charities Regulator via the concerns line on 01 633 1550 or by completing the online form at
http://www.charitiesregulator.ie/en/cra/pages/raise_a_concern_about_a_charity

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