The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a shocking event, which has upturned the lives of many millions of people in Ukraine, and challenges the sense of peace and security in which many Europeans have lived for two generations. It seems probable that the repercussions will impact widely across society, including for many charities registered with us, responding to these events as they unfold.

The British public has already responded with immense generosity, donating millions of pounds to support those affected by the war. Together with the Fundraising Regulator, we are reminding the public that giving to established registered charities with experience of delivering humanitarian aid in challenging environments is often the most efficient and helpful way to support those in need. Many charities have launched emergency fundraising appeals, and we are reminding trustees of our guidance on running effective and impactful appeals, and on holding, moving and receiving funds safely.

Many charities operate in Russia, and may come under increasing pressure as a result of the implications of sanctions, difficulties in transferring funds and because of the operating environment for civil society in that country. To keep up to date with the latest financial sanctions, charities can sign up to e-alerts from HM Treasury and find guidance from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI). We urge trustees to consider our guidance on working in high-risk areas, and to ensure that they are following Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice, and keeping staff, volunteers and funds safe.

All charities should also know their donors, and consider whether or not to accept donations, including where there may be a reputational implication for them in doing so. Our guidance is here, and we encourage all charities to read this this in light of the current international context. We also have general guidance on managing risks when working internationally.

There will be other implications for charities, both short and long term, that we cannot yet predict. The Commission will remain alive to the issues and risks facing charities, and we encourage charities to do likewise. We will promote or update our guidance as needed. We want to help support charities, which play such a vital role in our society, to get it right and make the biggest impact possible.

We encourage charities to visit our GOV.UK pages for any updates to our guidance, and to get in touch with our contact centre if they have any specific questions or concerns.

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    Statement on Ukraine crisis and its implications for charities

    by Editor time to read: 2 min