Over the past few years, household collections of clothing and other goods have become commonplace. Many charities run collections that help to raise vital funds for the good causes they represent.
Sadly, some bags intended for charity are being stolen by thieves and fraudulent collectors, costing UK charities many millions in lost income each year. Many residents are now understandably nervous of donating goods in this way and this could lead to an even greater loss of income for charities.
Alistair McLean, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB)told me that the real crisis is that charities need donors’ confidence and support now more than ever. While charity bag crime is a worry for all, we ask donors to remember that the large majority of collections are legitimate and that charities rely heavily on this income stream.
I am supporting the Bogus Bags campaign, led by the FRSB and supported by the Institute of Fundraising, Charity Retail Association and Textile Recycling Association. The campaign aims to help the public give confidently to the charities they care about, offering this simple advice for local residents:
• Check – Legitimate charity collection bags will clearly state what organisation(s) funds are being raised for and feature a charity number registered withe the Charity Commission.
• Look for the tick –The FRSB tick logo indicates that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation and industry standards.
• Call – There will be a working landline telephone number on genuine fundraising materials for you to call.
• Report - After making these checks, if you think that a collection is not legitimate, you can report any suspicions of theft to the local police and bogus collections to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
For more information, click here.