Posted on 25th October 2018

Getting board-level support to fight charity fraud

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Charity fraud is estimated to cost the sector more than £2bn each year, and what’s more this number is reported to be growing at an alarming rate. It is therefore vital that charities of all sizes become aware of the risks and put steps in place to mitigate instances of fraud. Today we’ll be looking at ways in which trustees can develop strategies to fight this growing problem.

Cultivate fraud-awareness within the organisation

Leaders can put fraud on the agenda by simply having conversations with staff and trustees around the ever-present threat of fraud and cybercrime. There are many basic actions that can be taken to mitigate the risks and with each step, a cultural awareness of fraud develops within the charity.

Ensure fraud gets on the agenda at board meetings

By allocating a portion of time to discuss charity fraud risk at meetings, whether they are monthly, quarterly or even yearly, you ensure that the topic is kept in the minds of those leading the organisation. At board meetings discuss emerging risk factors and how they’re being addressed, any notable events since the last meeting, and who is responsible for overseeing the anti-fraud agenda.

Leaders can put fraud on the agenda by simply having conversations with staff and trustees

Reference the data to build a case

Cybercrime and fraud in general don’t tend to get much of a look in. It’s considered a low-risk, uninteresting and possibly costly topic which most of us would rather avoid. But by citing important stats around charity fraud, this can help the board sit up and take notice of the ever-present danger posed by sophisticated scams.

Discuss personal fraud

Exploitation is not exclusive to any sector or organisation, and can also affect individuals personally. We each take steps in our own lives to secure our interests, whether that’s passcode-protecting our mobile devices, shredding important documents or installing antivirus software. By raising these practical points it can remove the barrier for discussing organisation-wide fraud prevention.