A campaign encouraging Muslims to 'Give Smart Give Safe' ahead of Ramadan has launched.

Research undertaken by The Muslim Charities Forum (MCF,) the network of British Muslim charities, found that £130 million was donated to British Muslims INGOs, including members of the MCF, during the month of Ramadan last year. Our members operate in over 40 countries worldwide.

Building upon these government recommendations on how to give safely, MCF have launched a public awareness campaign including a succinct, animated campaign video to ensure that any donations made in Ramadan 2019 are ‘smart and safe’ and don’t fall into the wrong hands or used ineffectively.

Fadi Itani, CEO of Muslim Charities Forum, said, “It is well known that British Muslims areenormously generous in their charitable giving, being the most charitable religious community in the UK.

"Following our research, we know last year’s donations in the month of Ramadan was £130m. 

"At the Muslim Charities Forum, we see first-hand the difference these vital donations make, but we want to ensure those donations go even further and are used in the most effective way possible, which is why we have launched the ‘Give Smart Give Safe’ campaign.”

Nick Donaldson, Head of Faith Charities Engagement at the Charity Commission, said, “Ramadan is a time of huge generosity among British Muslims.  People deserve to know that their money is getting to the end cause that they intended it for so I welcome the important work of the ‘Give Smart, Give Safe’ campaign in helping donors give safely to causes they care about.”

1. Make sure the charity you wish to support is registered with the Charity Commission

This is the most basic check to be done with a charity, however even some registered charities can be registered so it is worth checking whether all their records are up to date. MCF encourages everyone to visit www.gov.uk/checkcharitybefore giving this Ramadan.

2. Be mindful of a charity’s impact and not just its admin cost

Donors are being asked to take into consideration the level of admin cost a charity has. The emergence of some charities pledging a ‘100%’ may sound enticing, but questions may need to be asked about what impact they are having in supporting the needy.  

3. If you are donating online, look for a padlock icon or a ‘Secure’ message in the URL bar to make sure that your donations are protected.

Some Muslim charities receive half of their Ramadan income through online donations. Donors are being encouraged to be cautious about donating online and to ensure websites are secure and safe. 

4. If approached by fundraisers on the street or outside your mosque, ask for some form of official identification. 

Thousands of worshippers descend onto mosques for night prayers during the month of Ramadan. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people may target Muslims at a mosque or communities with large Muslim populations, so donors will need to be confident the fundraisers are genuine by ascertaining whether they have visible identification on themselves and that any buckets are sealed.