In late June 2019, Human Aid UK (HAUK) Trustees commissioned an Independent Examination of the charity’s projects, governance, and finances for the two previous financial years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. This was commissioned after new trustees joined the charity with the aim to help trustees identify areas of weakness and development, and put in place measures to strengthen the charity. This examination was conducted in line with our key value of safeguarding the Amanah (trust) given to the charity by donors.
One of the areas the examination looked into was decision making and conflicts of interest arising out of our relationship with one supplier, MuslimGiving Ltd. Several members of the charity including staff, volunteers and board members were also involved with MuslimGiving. This was possible at the time, due to the charity having no clause within employee or volunteer contracts that prevented anyone from having additional employment or starting their own business.
In the interest of transparency, we have published a summary of how the charity has managed this concern uncovered by the Independent Examination:
- After the launch of MuslimGiving in 2018, the charity looked into using MuslimGiving as a fundraising platform. Its Donor Management Team carried out a detailed analysis of all fundraising platforms and provided the Board with an evaluation. The Board recognised and noted that some members of HAUK were conflicted. It appointed non-conflicted members the responsibility to decide on MuslimGiving. It was agreed that HAUK can use MuslimGiving as an additional fundraising platform, while Every Day Hero remained as the primary fundraising platform for the charity.
- In November 2018, an email from the Board to staff recognised that some HAUK members were conflicted, and explained how decision making took place to manage this conflict of interest.
- Concerns around conflicts of interest persisted, however. On 18th February 2019, the Board sent a further email to staff reiterating that conflicted members of the charity were not involved in the decision-making regarding the use of MuslimGiving. By the end of February, MuslimGiving suspended Human Aid UK’s use of its platform, after the board raised questions – all of the charity’s 354 fundraising pages were closed.
- Since that point the charity has not used MuslimGiving as a fundraising platform directly, however, some individuals who have fundraised for Human Aid have preferred to use MuslimGiving to raise funds for their elected causes/missions. This is something outside of the control of the Charity if individuals wish to raise funds using different platforms.
- Several key individuals who were either directors or shareholders of MuslimGiving were removed from or left the charity in order to safeguard the integrity and reputation of the charity. We are at the closing stages of complete removal of this concern of Conflict of Interest from the charity.
- In addition, information regarding the Conflict of Interest with MuslimGiving was provided to the Charity Commission on 11th October 2019 as part of our ongoing engagement with the Commission and in the interests of transparency.
If anyone has questions, concerns or wishes to disclose any information then the Board are happy to meet in person to discuss this matter further.
We continue to work to rectify areas of concern and improvement that were identified from the Independent Examination and the above is just one area identified that we have moved to rectify.