Wellington, March 25, 2019
New Zealanders are incredibly generous and give billions of their hard-earned cash to charity each year.
Right now, there are a wide range of organisations that are working to raise funds in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy and many people who have, or are considering donating to these efforts.
The Department of Internal Affairs has provided the following advice to make sure money raised ends up in the right hands and will help those in need:
Know who you are giving to: A lot of organisations are well known charities. Registered charities have to publish their accounts which means people can see where the money goes and how it is spent. You can also find out about each charity’s purpose and activities, and who is involved. Anyone can search the Register here https://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/Search.
There are also many organisations that are doing great work in our communities, but are not registered charities. Most of them will have their own website or social media channel where people can find out more about them.
If you are approached at your home or on the street you are quite within your rights to ask to see identification or ask the collector to explain the work of the charity and how your donation will be used.
You can also ask how much of your donation will reach the cause. For example 100 percent of every dollar donated to the Christchurch Shooting Victims’ Fund run by Victim Support will be used to help victims.
Be careful of scams
Sadly, at times like these there always seem to be some dishonest people who use the opportunity to take advantage of New Zealanders’ generosity. This could take the form of false representation in person or online.
Follow your instinct – if it doesn’t look or feel right then hold off giving anything until you can get more information.
If you receive an email requesting a donation and it looks suspicious and/or asks for personal details such as your date of birth and bank account number, do not open or reply to the email – simply delete it as it may contain links to viruses. You can report suspicious emails to NetSafe .
If you want to donate online try and find a well-known platform, rather than using links in emails or on social media.
If you want to make a donation over the phone, make sure you’re dealing with the charity concerned. You can look up the charity’s phone number and call them back yourself.
The Department also has a nationwide role to administer funding and provide advisory support to individuals, communities and community organisations.
We can offer advice and support to organisations raising money for Christchurch victims including (a) Connecting your organisation with others that may be able to support you or have similar objectives (b) Helping you manage any changes needed in your organisation that might be needed as a result of having funds to distribute. For example, increased staffing, volunteer support, administration costs (c) Advising on different ways to distribute funding, for example setting funding criteria and grant funding processes (such as developing application processes and how to assess requests for funding).
For more information, please call (03) 3395538; 0800-824824.