We’ve lost £1,700 gifts, fears Ilkley-based charity

An animal charity is among good causes hit by the suspension of a donations website and Charity Commission investigation into a nationwide organisation.

Ilkley-based West Yorkshire Animals In Need believes it has lost around £1,700 in donations from animal-loving members of the public after the Dove Trust got into difficulties.

The long-established trust, itself a charity, runs online donations portal CharityGiving, used by many small and medium-sized charities to receive donations from members of the public and process tax refunds from the Inland Revenue.

Watchdog the Charities Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the Dove Trust earlier this month and appointed an interim manager in a bid to protect existing donated funds, following concern about the delay in the trust filing its annual report and accounts.

The last accounts are said to have been filed in 2009.

It has since found a shortfall between donations received and money available to pay out to charities.

Tommi Townsend, of WYAIN, says some donations for the Ilkley cause made via the CharityGiving portal were sent about a fortnight ago – but the charity has not received any money since the end of March.

She is urging people who have donated recently to contact their credit card provider, or online payment provider such as Paypal, if this method was used to make a donation through CharityGiving, as they may be able to recover their money.

“We’ve lost about £1,700. Being a small charity we can’t take a hit like that,” said Mrs Townsend.

A series of statements on the Charity Giving website says the distributable assets held by the Dove Trust are less than the amounts payable to the charities for which they were intended.

Newer donations received are said to have been used to make payments to charities owed money from earlier receipts taken by Charity Giving.

“The amount of the shortfall has yet to be quantified and there are many accounts to reconcile,” said the online statement.

The interim manager is now working to ascertain the correct amount owing to the different charities and to consider what assets are available to repay them.

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