FUNDRAISERS were left ‘heartbroken’ after a charity website was put at the centre of an investigation into £250,000 of allegedly missing donations.
The Charity Commission froze the activities of Charity Giving, an online donation portal owned by the Dove Trust, after ‘serious concerns about administration mismanagement by the charity’s trustees and risks to charity funds’.
It is the first time the Commission, whose concerns were increased by the organisation’s failure to submit any accounts since April 2009, has suspended a site.
Charity portals processes payments and forwards them to charities after deducting charges.
People from East Lancashire, who used the site, said they did not know if donations had been transferred.
All donations after July 12 have been returned to bank accounts but it is uncertain if money found to have gone astray before that date can be reclaimed.
Accrington fundraiser Kelly Rosbotham set up a page to raise money for Holly House, a centre for children with special needs, said she, believed £1,857 could be at risk. She added: “I’m disgusted that this organisation failed to act responsibly. It seems we could have been deceived.”
Emma McNally, one of five team members on the Darwen Tower to Eiffel Tower bike ride, to help Blackburn With Darwen Carers and Blackburn Food Bank said: “I was heartbroken when I heard the news.
Tallulah Perez, a of the Charity Commission said: “This was done as a last resort to locate a £250,000 shortfall.”
A Dove Trust spokesman said they were unable to comment as investigations were ongoing.