In these last nights of Ramadan, many of us are experiencing a renewed zeal when it comes to giving to charity and donating to causes close to heart. The Muslims Charities Forum (MCF), founded in 2007, has found that for Ramadan last year, more than £130 million was donated to British Muslim INGOs. The numbers are expected to be even higher this year.
With so many charities and so many different avenues for donating now, many can feel lost or in a rush to donate quickly. In an effort to ensure that donations are being handled in a safe and smart manner, MCF has launched a public awareness campaign to help guide Muslims on how to carefully donate during this holy month.
Knowing about the legitimacy of the organization as well exactly where your money is being spent are important parts of understanding how to be proactive when donating. MCF has therefore created a checklist that we all should follow before donating and giving to charity:
1) Make sure the charity you wish to support is registered with the Charity Commission
By simply checking on the registration of a charity, you can help make sure your money is in safe and halal hands. Check out this website for all registered charities at www.gov.uk/checkcharity.
2) Be mindful of a charity’s impact and not just its admin cost
While some charities pledging a ‘100%’ may sound enticing, questions may need to be asked about what impact they are having in supporting the needy and how legitimate their funding processes really are.
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
Online donations are quickly becoming the easiest and most popular way to donate during Ramadan. Ensuring the website is safe and secure and being cautious about the process is one way in making sure your money is going to a legitimate cause.
4) If approached by fundraisers on the street or outside your mosque, ask for some form of official identification
Especially during these last few nights of Ramadan, thousands of people gather at the mosque for prayer and worship. Unfortunately, there are cases where people may target worshipers at a mosque to scam people out of money, 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 and secured.
In this holy month of Ramadan, giving to charities is not only highly recommended, but also acts as an important part of worshipping Allah. Inshallah we will all be blessed and rewarded this Ramadan, and continue to uphold the concept of charity throughout the year as well.