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How to support people affected by conflict

Our whole community is deeply affected by the terrible events taking place in Israel, Gaza and Ukraine, as well as in other parts of the world, and our hearts go out to all those caught up in the appalling violence.

The Charity Commission has recently published advice on how people can help civilians impacted by the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza and support genuine relief efforts.

The charity regulator advises supporting existing, registered charities experienced in responding to humanitarian crises. These organisations are best placed for getting international aid to civilians caught up in conflict zones and respond to the changing situation on the ground.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which brings together 15 UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently in times of crisis overseas, has signposted which of its member charities have appeals to help civilians. Their website also provides an update on the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal | Disasters Emergency Committee (dec.org.uk), and how to donate.

Steps to giving safely if you wish to

People can support genuine relief efforts by following a few simple steps before giving:

  • check the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) website. It has signposted which of its member charities have appeals
  • for those who choose to donate to other charities, the charity regulator is reminding people to check charities are registered and legitimate:
    • contact them or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to understand how it is spending funds
    • make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information
    • be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them
    • check the charity’s name and registration number on the Charity Register at gov.uk/checkcharity – most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered in England and Wales
    • look out for the Fundraising Badge – the logo that says ‘registered with Fundraising Regulator’ – and check the Fundraising Regulator’s Directory of organisations committed to fundraise in line with its Code of Fundraising Practice.

Informal fundraising appeals

The Charity Commission also urges people to be wary of informal appeals shared on social media, online or directly, and to use the same steps to check how the money raised will reach those they want to support.

Anyone initiating informal fundraising appeals – those not linked to established registered charities – may not be aware of the ongoing responsibilities of managing the money raised. This includes ensuring it is accounted for properly and spent in line with donors’ wishes. The Commission’s five minute guide on managing charity finances outlines these responsibilities.

Further information

  • Further tips on giving safely to registered charities are available on GOV.UK
  • The  Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.