The Muslim Charities Forum has launched a campaign to educate UK Muslim donors on how to donate safely and smartly throughout the year, but particularly during Ramadan.
The BeSmart campaign consists of educational videos which have been filmed in various locations across the UK and and a self-assessment tool each donor to test themselves and know the impact of their donations.
MCF also produced the Guide to ethical excellencespecifically for charities to improve their relationship with donors.
The campaign is based on four categories of best practice in giving: online safety, Islamic principles on charity, communication with charities, and research-based giving.
According to Islamic Relief, British Muslims raised £150million for charity during Ramadan in 2020.
Due to advancements in technology over the past five years and the recent COVID pandemic, the majority of Muslims are now donating online.
MCF said: “We want to encourage a two-way relationship between donors and charities so that donors feel empowered and informed to make the changes they would like to see in the world…
“The efforts of British Muslims have developed incredible charities that serve important causes close to their hearts. Muslims must now think carefully about their role as donors and charities to strategically improve the sector and the beneficiaries we all seek to help.
Below is a donor checklist provided by the MCF:
Is the charity registered?
Visit http://www.gov.uk/checkcharity and find out if the charity is registered with the Charity Commission.
Do the charity’s values match your values?
Check the charity’s website for information about their goals and values. You should only give to organizations that you believe match your values.
Is the fundraising genuine?
Many people organize personal fundraisers for charity, which can be a great way to donate to charity. However, it is important to check if it is genuine. They must include the charity’s name and registration number.
Do you feel obligated to donate?
You should never feel pressured to donate to charity, it should be a free and informed choice. If you need more information, you have the right to ask the charity directly, before donating your money.
Does the administration cost reflect the impact?
Charities differ in their administration costs for different reasons, for example, their specialty. Look at the impact more than the administration cost. Don’t be guided by numbers alone. A higher administrator may translate to greater impact, or vice versa, depending on the organization.
Who runs the organization and do they have development experience? Who is the CEO or CFO? What experience do they have in their respective fields? How easy is it to find this information.
What difference does the charity make? How does the charity measure and demonstrate its impact? Can you tell what the charity has achieved? How does the association choose the projects on which it works?
Are charity accounts filed with the Charity Commission on time? The Charity Commission tells you if the accounts were filed late. Does the charity regularly file its accounts late?
Who are the directors of the organization and do they have professional experience? Have the directors gained experience in other large organizations? Do they know their legal responsibilities?
Size and history
How old or new is the charity? What is his size? Does he have an area of expertise: a type of project or a specific country?
Charitable organizations also collect Zakat during Ramadan. The Muslim Charities Forum recommends that every donor ask the following questions before donating their zakat to charity:
Does the charity have a zakat policy that tells you how it spends zakat money? Is it freely accessible on the site?
Does the charity have a zakat policy holder whose name is available on the website and whose contact details are also available?
Does the charity have a board of scholars that verifies the validity of its zakat policy? Are these academics named on the site?
Does the charity explain how zakat funds are distributed in its annual accounts?