TV campaign encourages UK mosques to register as charities
The Charity Commission, the regulator of Charities in England and Wales has, for the first time, been running adverts on satellite television channels during the festival of Ramadhan that began on 22 August and will finish around 20 September.
The campaign encourages mosques and Muslim organisations that may be charitable to take advantage of registering as charities.
Over this Muslim religious festival,many Muslim organisations and mosques around the country are expected to benefit from the generosity of those in their communities. However many of these organisations still don’t realise that registering with the Charity Commission is in fact a legal requirement. It also helps ensure that the donations these organisations and mosques are given go much further and this can help enhance their reputation.
The advertising campaign, featured on four satellite television channels, will inform viewers of the many benefits of registering as a charit. Some of the benefits are charities:
- Have the benefit of a charity registration number and the badge/brand of charity, increasing public trust and confidence in their organisation.
- Can maximise the financial benefit of donations through Gift Aid arrangements. This means that currently for every £1.00 donated through Gift Aid charities can claim back up to 28p from the Government.
- Benefit from generous tax breaks – they do not normally have to pay income/corporation tax, capital gains tax, or stamp duty, and gifts to charities are free of inheritance tax.
- Have access to free expert advice and tailored guidance from the Charity Commission.
Ghulam Rasool, working with the Commission’s ‘Faith and Social Cohesion Unit’, said, “During the month of Ramadhan, Muslims seek spiritual salvation through fasting, praying and through their support of the poor and needy, both in their own communities and abroad. This Ramadhan we are encouraging organisations and mosques that raise funds or carry out charitable work to take a look at the Charity Commission website to find out about registering as a charity."
Rasool continues, "Registration, which is a legal requirement for most mosques, brings many benefits, and will help you maximise the money you raise so you can make an even greater contribution to those in need. I wish you a blissful Ramadhan Mubaarak.”
When the project began in October 2007, 331 mosques registered as Charities. 18 months on, at the end of April 2009, the figure stood at 455 – an increase of 37 percent.
Amjid Raza, Secretary of Dudley Central Mosqu, registered in January this year he said, “Our mosque is the heart of the community, both as a place of worship and through the other services we provide locally. Being a registered shows everyone that we’re open and accountable and we’ve also been able to apply for more funding since registering. The Commission provided us with free expert advice during the registration process and we know we can go back to them if we need further support."
Ethicnow/Charity Commission/ Expatica
For information on registering as a charity in the UK visit the Commission’s website: www.charitycommission.gov.uk
Photo credit: Mister E (Flickr)