The Charity Commission is urging larger charities to complete a free questionnaire designed to test how resilient they are against fraud and provide an estimate for how much it is costing the charity.
The Self-Assessment Fraud Resilience Tool was designed by the accounting firm PKF Littlejohn and based on databases managed by it and the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth. It is an online tool that includes 29 questions designed to establish how well a charity understands the nature and cost of fraud, whether it has an effective counter-fraud strategy and the extent to which fraud is managed in the organisation.
The commission has sent details about the tool to the about 6,700 charities on its register that have annual incomes of more than £1m and hopes they will all complete it by the end of March.
Organisations that complete the self-assessment will receive results that include a "fraud resilience" score out of 50, an estimate of how much they lose to fraud each year and an indication of how well the organisation compares with other charities.
The commission said it would have no access to individual responses but would receive an overview of the results, which it said it would use to identify areas of weakness and improve its guidance.
Sarah Atkinson, director of policy and communications at the Charity Commission, said: "The public, grant funders and commissioners expect charities to be rigorous in their protection of charity assets – using this tool is one way for trustees to demonstrate that they take the risks seriously.
"It is important that we gain a better understanding of the nature and extent of fraud in the charity sector, so I hope that as many larger charities as possible complete the self-assessment before the end of March.
She said the tool was designed for larger organisations, but the regulator was working with developers to come up with a system that would suit smaller charities.