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Safer charitable giving

We are supporting the London-wide ‘Support Charity not Crime’ campaign which is aimed at raising public awareness of the danger of donating money to bogus charity collections.

The campaign is being coordinated by the London Prevent Network with support from the Metropolitan Police, the Charity Commission and several London boroughs.

Most charity collections, in London and across the country, are genuine and legitimate. However, charity scams sadly do happen and there have been several convictions of individuals linked to fraudulent fundraising in recent years.

Fraudsters have been known to target businesses and ask for collection tins to be displayed for a bogus charity and then return to collect the donations.  

The campaign is aimed at equipping Londoners with the skills to identify genuine charity collections and the confidence to say no to collections about which they have doubts.  

Six steps to supporting charity not crime:  

  1. Before making a donation or accepting a collection tin, check the charity’s name and registration number on the Charity Commission's website.
  2. Genuine fundraising materials should feature the charity’s name,
    registered name and a landline contact number. Be wary of those
    that list only a mobile number.
  3. Look for the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation, encouraging people to give with confidence.
  4. When approached by collectors, check whether they have proper ID
    and that any collection tin is sealed.
  5. Fundraisers require a licence from the local authority (or the Police in
    London) to collect in a public place. Check that they have this. If the
    collection is in a privately owned place (including shopping centres
    and train stations), check that they have the owner’s permission.

  6. If in doubt, ask the collector for more information – a genuine
    fundraiser will always be happy to answer questions and explain
    more about the work of the charity.

Council officers will distribute information to businesses in the borough which give simple hints for them to be aware of before agreeing to accept collection tins from charity workers. 

If you have concerns or suspicions about the legitimacy of a charity collection call 020 8314 7545 or email communitysafety@lewisham.gov.uk.