The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a charity that has set up an online donation platform to raise money for other charities as well as itself.
GTC’s objects are the relief of poverty in Buckinghamshire, but in its annual accounts, it says it is sending money to Greece, Turkey, Syria and Pakistan for purposes outside of its remit.
The website registered with the Commission is www.givetocharity.com, a donation platform that claims on its fees page to be cheaper than JustGiving by charging a 4 per cent fee transaction fee and no set up or other fee.
“At GTC everything is simple. We charge a flat rate of 4 per cent of the total value of your donation. However as we are a charity ourselves we reinvest any surplus monies (after card charges, system costs etc) back into our work for charity. This means that your money goes further,” it says.
Many of the fundraising pages listed on the site, for things like foodbanks and collections for individuals, say that they are “in aid of GTC”.
There are a handful of other charities listed.
GTC’s accounts for the financial year ending March 2017 state it had an income of £10,241 and expenditure of £6,152.
It has just one trustee, Ahtiq Raja, and was registered as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) in 2015.
The accounts state: “Due to a system error in Gift Aid submissions HMRC made two large sums; then initially offered that either the CIO retain the monies or return them.”
“If retained it would remain a debt and future submissions would be deducted from this debt. Thus we decided to follow this option. Having so decided, we retained the money in a safe bank account to ensure that it could not be 'spent' inadvertently or otherwise.”
It said it then invested the money in a property.
Accounts ‘lack clarity’
The Commission said the charity’s “accounting and reporting submissions lack clarity”.
It is also concerned that by only having one trustee, conflicts of interest cannot be managed.
The inquiry will examine whether the charity has complied with its governing document, if accurate accounts have been filed with the Commission, if conflicts of interest have been managed and if funds have been misapplied.