Activism

Fundraising sites work on plan to boost public trust

Charity regulators want as much transparency as possible to avoid any bogus crowdfunding pages

Millions of people have donated to the victims of tragedies like the Grenfell Tower fire and Manchester Arena bombing, but regulators are concerned about the possibility fraudsters could exploit grief through bogus fundraising pages.

The country’s biggest online fundraising platforms have agreed to work on the best ways to be as transparent as possible and increase trust.

Fourteen websites – including JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving and BT MyDonate – met the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator.

The public are using crowdfunding and online donation sites more and more to raise funds for causes they care deeply about.

The Charity Commission said it wanted to “increase public trust and confidence in charity and online giving, and ensure that charitable resources in the short, medium and long-term are used as effectively as possible.”

The commission said it wanted to “collectively agree some principles” to make support legitimate fundraises are supported through the process and make sure information was more transparent.

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “The public and charities are using crowdfunding and online donation sites more and more to raise funds for causes they care deeply about.

“It is very important that the online platform operators support both the legal requirements and good practice in fundraising set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.”

The Charity Commission said the public response to the Manchester bombing, Grenfell disaster and this year’s terrorist attacks in London had raised £38 million.

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