All online fundraising appeals for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes that target the community in Singapore are regulated under the Charities Act and the Charities (Fund-raising Appeals for Local and Foreign Charitable Purposes) Regulations.
This means fund-raisers need to fulfil certain obligations, such as disclosing clear and accurate information to donors about the beneficiary and the purpose of the donation, ensuring the proper use of donations, as well as keeping proper records of donations received and disbursed. Please click here for the full legislative requirements.
Online fundraising appeals tend to tug at the heartstrings, so donate with both heart and head to avoid giving to causes which may later prove to be illegitimate. Not all online appeals are conducted by registered charities.
The COC has issued restriction and prohibition orders to stop or limit improper fund-raising activities conducted by organisations and individuals. Anyone who flouts the fund-raising laws can be fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to 12 months, or both.
If you have serious concerns regarding any fund-raising activities, please report the matter to our Office. If fraud or scams are suspected, you should file a Police report immediately.
1. Before making a donation, check if you have sufficient information on the following:
· Profile and background of the individual fundraiser
· Disclosure of clear and accurate information to donors about the beneficiary
· The purpose of the donation and how they will be utilised
· Any proper records of donations received and disbursed, with regular updates on the amount raised
· The proportion of donations going to the beneficiary
· Whether the fundraiser responsive to queries from the public
2. After donating, you can ask the fundraiser these questions:
· How is the beneficiary? Did his/her condition or quality of life improve after the fundraising?
· Has the beneficiary received the donations?
1. Look out for copycat names or duplicate appeals that might mislead or deceive you into thinking you are donating to a legitimate fundraising effort.
2. If the solicitation is by an organisation claiming to be a local charity, verify that it is a registered one by using the search function on the Charity Portal.
1. Read the terms and conditions of the online fundraising platform. This is usually found in the FAQ section of the platform. Some platforms have costs such as administrative and processing fees, or include tips by default that require the donor to opt out of at the payment page.
2. Check the total amount charged to your credit card before making payment.
Fast forward to 11:08 of Part 1 to watch the segment on Online Fundraising Appeals.
Click on the video to continue to Part 2 of Online Fundraising Appeals.