The Charity Commission has launched a new website offering guidance, tips and case studies to help charities combat the risk of fraud.
The website has been launched to mark the start of the commission’s first Charity Fraud Awareness Week, which runs from today until Friday.
The Charity Sector Counter Fraud Group, a group chaired by the commission and made up of charity sector umbrella bodies as well as representatives from charities, the police, government and professional bodies, has worked with the commission to develop the new resource.
The awareness week will culminate with the National Charity Fraud Conference in central London on Friday and the commission will be raising awareness of charity fraud prevention on social media throughout the week.
There will also be two follow-up events – one in London in December and one in Manchester in January — the commission said.
In a statement published today, the commission said the week was designed to help charities limit their fraud risk and "aims to ensure that trustees and charity staff can recognise the warning signs of fraud and shape an effective and proportionate response".
Michelle Russell, director of investigations monitoring and enforcement at the Charity Commission said: "Fraud can thrive in an environment of weak governance and poor financial management, so we are reminding charity staff and trustees, as part of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, to seek out the good practice guidance that is widely available and to review their charity’s financial controls and procedures."
David Kirk, chair of the independent anti-fraud group the Fraud Advisory Panel, which is collaborating with the commission on Charity Fraud Awareness Week, said charities were particularly vulnerable to fraud due to the high number of financial transactions they undertake.
"Fraud can manifest itself in many different forms and is constantly evolving - which is why we are urging everyone working with charities and not-for-profit organisations to join together and stop fraud against charities," he said.
"Charity staff and trustees must stay alert to the risks and understand how to manage them."
The commission statement said charities wanting to get involved during the week should follow #CharityFraud on Twitter and click here for a supporters pack.