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Businesses Warned to be Wary 13 August 2004

The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading and the Constabulary are warning businesses to be wary of approaches made by companies seeking funds for the benefit of charities either by direct donation or by selling advertising space in publications, year planners or diaries.

A number of local businesses and Government Departments have been approached by these companies. Their representatives ask for support in raising money for charities, usually children's charities and some state that they have raised funds for various social services organisations across Britain including the Isle of Man. The Social Services Division of the Isle of Man Department of Health and Social Security confirm that they have no agreement with any "fundraisers" such as these.

The reality is that most of this seemingly worthwhile fundraising does little or nothing to benefit the chosen charities or organisations. Very little if any of the funds raised actually reach them and any that is will very likely go to off Island charities.

The Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, Mr Quintin Gill MHK said of the schemes:

"Businesses need to consider carefully where they make donations or place advertising. Although many reputable companies offer advertising space for good causes others are less scrupulous. Make sure you know the proportion of the money paid that will go to the charity, the nature of the publication and it's distribution numbers and area. Businesses may find it is better to make their contribution directly to a charity."

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