Charities Regulator: Give with your head as well as your heart
Charities Regulator urges the public to support registered charities
The Charities Regulator is urging the public to ensure that any time or money they wish to donate goes to registered charities who have the experience and expertise to help communities in an effective and transparent way. You can do this by checking the Register of Charities at www.charitiesregulator.ie.
Speaking about the ongoing work of the Charities Regulator in response to the current crisis including its recent ad campaign, Helen Martin, CEO of the Charities Regulator said, ‘The priority of the Charities Regulator at this time is to provide guidance to charities and to maintain public trust and confidence in the sector. For this reason, we are reminding people that quickest way to assist in the present crisis is to raise funds or contribute in some other way to an existing registered charity that is already working in the area that you are interested in supporting.”
‘It’s not easy to set up a registered charity from scratch as anyone who has recently registered with the Charities Regulator will know. It is, by necessity, a rigorous process. It is therefore important that any member of the public that might have any ideas around raising funds or providing other forms of assistance during this crisis, links in with an existing registered charity of which there are almost 11,000 in Ireland today’.
The Charities Regulator has taken a number of steps to engage with registered charities and the wider public, details of which are set out below. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated guidance to registered charities.
Extension of annual reporting deadlines
The Board of the Charities Regulator has exercised its power to specify an alternative period for the filing of any annual report which was due to be prepared and submitted to the Charities Regulator on any date from 12th March 2020 to 29th June 2020 inclusive . The extension applies to just over 400 charities that were due to file annual reports any time after the 12th March up to the end of June. Those charities can now file their annual reports with the Regulator by the new extended deadline of 30th June.
Registered Charities Awareness Campaign
The Regulator has launched a national radio campaign with a key message that encourages the public to donate to registered charities. Using the line “make sure you give with your head as well as with your heart”, the campaign highlights the importance of choosing a registered charity. With almost 11,000 organisations on the Register of Charities, there is a wide range of worthy causes and services provided and in need of donations. It takes just seconds to check the Register of Charities at www.charitiesregulator.ie.
FAQ section added to our website
We have been hearing from concerned charities over the past two weeks. We have summarised and responded to the questions put to us in a new FAQs page on the Charities Regulator website, www.charitiesregulator.ie. The page can be found under the ‘Information for Charities’ tab on our home page. As engagement continues between the Regulator and charities, these FAQs will be added to over the coming weeks.
Contact with charities
We know this situation is evolving all the time and we are committed to maintaining regular contact with charities to monitor the impact the pandemic is having on the sector. The Charities Regulator has issued a short online survey in order to obtain a clearer view of the concerns of charities and the difficulties they are facing at this time. The results of the survey will inform us as we carry out our regulatory functions and seek to provide guidance to registered charities over the coming weeks and months.
The Charities Regulator contact centre has moved exclusively online at this time. The best way for charities to contact us is to use the online form available on our website.
‘Many charities are being called upon like never before during this pandemic,’ Helen Martin added. ‘Whether the purpose of a charity is to provide care for the elderly, health services or educational services, there is no charity that is not impacted in some way by the current crisis. The Charities Regulator appreciates the extra pressures on charities at this time and will continue to engage with the sector and provide practical guidance wherever possible.’