People seeking to donate money to help people affected by the war in Ukraine have been advised to make sure any charity they support is legitimate.
The Charities Regulator on Tuesday called on would-be donors to check that fundraising organisations are registered and have a good track record before sending money.
Helen Martin, the regulator's chief executive, said this can be done by checking the register of charities on charitiesregulator.ie.
“People across the country continue to be moved by the plight of the people of Ukraine and understandably want to help in whatever way they can,” she said.
“Donating time or money to an established registered charity is a much more effective way of assisting people at a time of crisis than seeking to set up a charity from scratch.
“We urge the public to support registered charities with a track record of providing the kinds of practical supports and assistance that the Ukrainian people need at this time.”
Duty of care
Charities were also advised about their “serious and significant duty of care” and responsibility to “think and plan carefully before they undertake any new initiatives including those relating to the conflict in Ukraine”.
“Any new activities must align with the charity’s stated charitable purpose and should be well thought through so that charity assets and volunteer efforts are targeted properly and effectively,” said Ms Martin.
“Where a charity is considering providing aid directly to Ukraine or neighbouring countries, for example, they should link in first with other registered charities already on the ground.”
Any concerns about a breach of charity law can be logged with the Charities Regulator or relevant State agencies.
“Where standards fall below what is expected, we will follow up with the charity concerned and, where necessary, will take appropriate regulatory steps to resolve any issues that have arisen,” said Ms Martin.