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about giving to charities?

(18 Posts)

Basically I only give to charities that I recognise the name of, whether they're local or national. I know there are often bogus collectors and I don't want to risk my money being wasted when it could be doing some good elsewhere (not that I can give much but every little counts, right?).

A friend of mine thinks the opposite, that you should always give just in case it's genuine. I think she's being daft, she thinks I am. Who is BU?

TylerHopkins Sun 25-Aug-13 17:34:56

I think your friend is naive. If I'm approached by a charity I haven't heard of before I politely decline but I will always do some research on them and if it is something I consider worthy I make a donation to them directly.

Nancy66 Sun 25-Aug-13 17:43:57

I prefer smaller charities but I always check them out before donating.

GetStuffezd Sun 25-Aug-13 17:46:24

Where I used to live there were these awful blokes harassing people for money every Saturday in town. Not asking for money - blocking people's paths, etc. No official ID, just a money belt and horrible attitude.

IMO best to stick to ones you know or trust.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 25-Aug-13 17:47:08

I always check out any charity before donating to find out how much the directors and chief exec are paid. You'll find the more well known charities pay their directors a whopping salary.

beals692 Sun 25-Aug-13 17:48:50

But surely your friend only has a limited amount of money to give to charities so, if she gives some to potentially bogus charities 'just in case', it reduces the amount going to genuine charities?

If she isn't sure, why doesn't she just put her (potential) donation to one side (so she isn't tempted to spend it on something else), make a note of the charity's name and then research it when she goes online? She can still make the donation later and, if she does it online/over the phone/by post rather than putting money in a collection box, she can also do the 'gift aid' thing so that more money goes to the charity.

I'm glad it's not just me who's wary! GetStuffezd that sounds awful.

I only give to charities that I know/ have personal experience of. Sometimes that can be a small, local charity and sometimes it can be a large, national charity. I wouldn't give, purely on the grounds that I had heard of them; and I wouldn't not give, purely on the grounds that they were a small charity.

guiltyconscience Sun 25-Aug-13 18:33:42

YADNBU some ppl are crooks and scam ppl. I always give to ppl collecting in shops if I know the charity well otherwise no way.

Empress77 Sun 25-Aug-13 18:44:16

If a charity is a real charity it will be registered with the charity commission and have its own registration number which must be displayed on all fundraising materials - so its really really easy to know if a charity is real or not. Registering with the charity commission is a lengthy & complex process and they check everything alot - including looking at the accounts & achievements every year. As a trustee of a small charity its very sad to hear that people only give to charities theyve heard of - for us tiny ones with no advertising budget like the big ones!! We spend all our money on the cause - no UK costs atall so please dont think that just because you havent heard of a charity that it isnt worth giving to!

Purple2012 Sun 25-Aug-13 18:50:16

I have certain charities that I will support. And I do it when I am financially able to. I never donate in the street. I am not that flush for money that I can. I will however try to donate to the charities I support as and when I can.

Empress I'm not saying that at all! As others have said, if I've never heard of the charity I tend to look it up when I get the chance so I know for next time I encounter them.

The trouble with the registered charity number is that if someone's standing in a shop doorway with a collecting bucket there's no way to know whether that number is genuine or just made up to make it look that way. If they have leaflets and so on then they're more likely to be genuine but it's still no guarantee.

Sirzy Sun 25-Aug-13 18:58:17

Yanbu, I am dubious even about legit charities unless I know that it is actually them collecting. There have been cases where people have pretended to collect for a legit charity but without registering what they are doing or giving them the money at the end sad

DidoTheDodo Sun 25-Aug-13 20:31:45

Well said Empress.

I work for a probably unknown charity and it is galling when the big boys with their big budgets get all the support. We have only 4 members of staff so no marketing team!

Anyone collecting ont he street (not on a private site like a shopping centre or station) will have to have a licence from the local council. It's worth asking them for a copy if you have any concerns about their authenticity.

Empress77 Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:55

But joyfulpuddlejumper - we dont spend money on making leaflets even - because we dont want to waste any money - every single penny we have is spent in Malawi where its worth so much more than the UK. So please dont think that because a charity doesnt have leaflets we arent legitimate or worth giving to! We pay no one in the UK-as trustees we pay all our expenses, our website designer does it for free, our accountant does it for free....sometimes the best charities have the least marketing paraphernalia!

That’s not what I'm saying Empress, I meant that leaflets can make a collector seem more authentic but aren't a guarantee of authenticity. Tbh I prefer to give to small & local charities as the money is worth more (if that makes sense) but I would rather play it safe than risk my money being wasted.

It sounds like your charity would be one of those that I would google, then either give to online if I could afford it or just remember for the next time I saw one of your collectors.

MidniteScribbler Mon 26-Aug-13 00:16:57

Chuggers get nothing from me. I sit down at the start of every financial year, determine how much I'm going to donate that year, do my research, and make my donations. I generally prefer smaller charities where more of the money goes directly to the cause, rather than large charities who spend a lot in advertising and ceo salaries.

MichelleRouxJnr Mon 26-Aug-13 00:23:02

Well said Empress
I mostly avoid giving to huge national charitees as I think if you have that much money to spend on advertising (GOSH) then you'll probably survive (as a charity) without my fiver, whereas the small, local charitees need every penny.
I tend to give to them directly i.e visit the cat sanctuary, visit the refuge rather than give to street collectors, unless I recognise them.

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