Stamping Out Fraud In Fundraising

Written by Annie Lee on 8 November 2018

Fundraising is a fundamental source of income for charities and without it many would not exist at all. One fantastic example of this is the Royal Parks Half Marathon, In its first 10 years it has, so far raised an incredible £36 million+ for all of its participating charities. On October 14th I actively took part in my first ever Royal Parks Half Marathon and it was an amazing experience, the roads are closed off for all the runners to safely take in the views along route of all the iconic landmarks in Central London and it is very emotional to see a sea of supporters lined up along the way with other numerous charities fundraising for their cause and doing their best to cheer on and lift the spirits of the participants. However, during these fundraising events, donors and charities must be wary of fraud. Perpetrators will seek out any opportunities or weaknesses to take advantage for themselves so vigilance is of upmost importance.

Donors want to be certain that these charities are bonified and those wishing to support them will want to do so with confidence before they part with their money. Therefore performing a simple background check on the Charity Commission website is advisable and very easy to do. Charities must also be vigilant and be on guard continuously as Fraud is a serious threat to every organisation and therefore the charity must have strong defences. Charity trustees and managers can protect their charity by ensuring strong financial management and good governance, putting in place financial controls and ensuring they are applied robustly. The Charity Commission gives guidance on internal controls for charities and a manual on countering fraud. The Foundation for Social Investment (FSI) sets out 10 questions to Trustees about fraud. This has been raised in conjunction with the Charity Fraud Awareness Week (22-26 October 2018).The Fraud Advisory Panel, established in 1998 by the ICAEW, has useful resources and live webinars with Q&As to gain insight into real experiences from a panel of experts. A webinar “Keeping charity fraud out” streamed live on 26th October will be made available under their resources. Knowledge is key, the increased awareness and insight should make the charity more resilient and in good stead to counter fraud.

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Annie Lee
Corporate Client Director