Over the last couple of years we have all been on a journey into the unknown and now we feel like we might have arrived, but…
In response to the shocking events in Ukraine and the incredible generosity of the public, the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator have issued guidance, urging people to donate to appeals safely through established registered charities. This will ensure that their money goes where it is most needed.
The unfolding humanitarian situation amid the Russian invasion has inspired many people to want to help those affected by the war.
As the regulators point out, members of the public setting up informal fundraising appeals not linked to established registered charities should be aware of the ongoing responsibilities associated with overseeing and managing funds and ensuring they are applied in line with donors’ wishes.
People wishing to support causes working in Ukraine and neighbouring countries are advised to make some simple checks before donating to make sure they are giving to registered charities, so their funds will be accounted for in line with the charity law framework.
At the same time, the Charity Commission has issued a statement on the Ukraine crisis and its implications for charities. With many charities launching emergency fundraising appeals, the regulator is reminding trustees of the wealth of guidance available to them on effectively managing appeals, holding, moving and receiving funds safely, as well as the importance of knowing their donors.
The specific guidance that is available on operating in high-risk territories and managing risks when working internationally is also highly significant.
For charities with operations in Russia, financial sanctions imposed by the UK and other governments may impact on their ability to transfer funds. We would recommend signing up to receive email alerts from HM Treasury to keep up to date with the latest information on sanctions.
Whilst the implications for the charity sector, both in the short and longer term, are only starting to emerge, the Commission will ensure that regular updates are provided to help trustees and advisors.
Please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of charities and not-for-profit accountants if you have any questions arising from this tragic and fast-moving situation.