Charities 'lose thousands' after collapse of online giving website

Charity Giving, run by the Dove Trust, was suspended by the Charity Commission on July 12 after running out of money.

Runners for Elmbridge Home-Start at last year's Claygate Run

First published in News
Last updated

Charities may have lost thousands of pounds in donations after an online giving website "ran out of money".

Charity Giving, run by the Dove Trust, was suspended by the Charity Commission on July 12 after running out of money.

It was using donations for one charity to pay back earlier charitable donations, according to the Charity Commission.

A fundraiser for Elmbridge Home-Start said the charity could have lost £2,000.

Other charities which are registered with the website include Kingston Carers' Network, Wandsworth Carers, Richmond Youth Partnership and Elmbridge Community Link, Sutton and Croydon Citizen's Advice Bureaux.

Jacintha Bennett, fundraiser for Elmbridge Homestart, a charity which works with families with young children, said: “We’ve got £2,000 we’re not going to get back. We have had people doing sponsored events fundraising for us.

“It doesn’t sound like very much but for a small charity it is a huge loss for us. People have done events in good faith, they have had donors give in good faith."

She said the charity hoped money raised would go a long way towards funding its next volunteer training course in September. 

The charity is now desperately trying to make up the funding, including putting a team into the London to Brighton cycle ride, using BT's My Donate website process. To help call 01932 235802.

A statement on the Charity Commission website said the website was suspended by the charity's interim manager, Pesh Framjee of Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP, to protect public funds as part of an inquiry into the Dove Trust.

According to the Charity Commission the charity received £3,274,637 in the year ending April 2012, with outgoings coming to £3,163,356.

Donations came to £3.2m, with charitable activities coming to £3.14m.

But the charity had not filed accounts since April 5, 2009.

The charity's trustees - Keith Thomas Colman, Donna Naghshineh and retired Norwich city goalkeeper Bryan Gunn in 2009 - have been removed after serious concerns about mismanagement.

One of the charities affected is Mr Gunn's Leukaemia Appeal, set up in honour of his daughter Francesca, who died from the condition in 1992 aged two.

Michelle Russell, head of investigations and enforcement at the Charity Commission, said: "We recognise this will cause concern among the donors and fundraisers who have collected money for the charity through the site and for the charities who are expecting to receive those funds.

"However it is now clear that the financial situation of the charity means there was no option but to suspend the online portal."

She said an urgent review of the charity's finances was being undertaken to find out how much money was missing.

Charities who are concerned about donations should contact DoveTrustInterimManager@crowecw.co.uk or phone 020 7842 7313.

Comments (4)

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2:25pm Wed 24 Jul 13

ron angel says...

I think a full police investigation is in order.
I think a full police investigation is in order. ron angel
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Wed 24 Jul 13

janee says...

If they hadn't posted accounts since 2009 why wasn't this picked up earlier? I bet the people running the charity paid themselves handsomely.
If they hadn't posted accounts since 2009 why wasn't this picked up earlier? I bet the people running the charity paid themselves handsomely. janee
  • Score: 0

4:57pm Wed 24 Jul 13

Hove Ex-Pat says...

Mismanagement? I think that word should be replaced by another, fraud.
Mismanagement? I think that word should be replaced by another, fraud. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Wed 24 Jul 13

Dan Filson says...

" the charity had not filed accounts since April 5, 2009" but was srtill allowed to operate. The Charity Commission must seriously examine its fitness for purpose and if they don't the Public Accounts Committee or similar should.There are scam charities around and also many incompetent ones and the Charity Commission should be on their back bringing in the police wherever appropriate. For a start in this case all charity donations should have gone into a trust fund ring-fenced as the monies were held on behalf of other charities and not for running costs.
" the charity had not filed accounts since April 5, 2009" but was srtill allowed to operate. The Charity Commission must seriously examine its fitness for purpose and if they don't the Public Accounts Committee or similar should.There are scam charities around and also many incompetent ones and the Charity Commission should be on their back bringing in the police wherever appropriate. For a start in this case all charity donations should have gone into a trust fund ring-fenced as the monies were held on behalf of other charities and not for running costs. Dan Filson
  • Score: 1

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