How do I know if a charity shop/collection/clothing bank is genuine?

How do I know if it's a genuine charity shop?

If the charity running the shop is a member of the ICSA, they will have this sticker prominently displayed in their window.

 

ICSA Member Window Sticker

If they are not members of the ICSA then ask if the shop is run directly by the charity and if they are registered with the Charities Regulator.

If they are making a donation to a charity out of the profits of the shop, then they are not a genuine charity shop as defined under the Charities Act 2009. Sometimes a cheque is displayed in the window showing which charity the shop is supporting.

5 ways to check if a 
clothes collection bag/label is genuine

 

1. Is the Irish Charity Shops Association logo on the bag or label?

ICSA collective trade mark registered with the Patent Office

 

2. Do you recognize the charity name? Sometimes leaflets appear to be connected to a well known charity, using a similar name or logo.

 

3. Is there a Charities Regulator number on the label? Numbers start with 2000 and you can check them on the search page on the CR website.

 

4. Does the bag or leaflet have an address and landline (not mobile) number printed on it?

 

5. Is there a CHY number? Legitimate numbers issued by the Revenue Commissioners run up to about 20,200. The Revenue publish an up-to-date list at the bottom of this page of their website. 

What to do if you are still unsure if a bag/label is from a registered charity

  • Bring your donation to an ICSA member charity shop near you. There are over 440 ICSA member shops nationwide.
    Click here for a list of shops
  • Wait until a charity that you know is legitimate delivers a collection bag to your door (see list of ICSA members who do door-to-door collections below)
  • Contact the registered charity you wish to support and ask them how you can make your donation

Legitimate Door-to-Door Clothes Collections

ICSA members who do Door-to-Door Clothes Collections:

  • Age Action
  • Barnardos
  • Debra Ireland
  • Enable Ireland
  • Irish Cancer Society
  • Liberty Recycling
  • NCBI
  • Oxfam Ireland
  • Society of St Vincent de Paul
  • The Simon Community

The ICSA member charities listed here collect clothing donations from your home. Please note that these are bulk collections organised by each charity to cover a particular area.

Most are not able to do individual house collections. Please contact your local charity shop, find a shop here.

Clothing Banks

ICSA members who operate Clothing Banks are Enable Ireland, Liberty Recycling, NCBI, Oxfam Ireland, Society of St Vincent de Paul. There are over 500 ICSA member banks nationwide so check here for a clothing bank near you.

Reporting suspicious activity

You can report any suspicious activity on this simple form This can be:-

  • Unregistered charity shops where it is unclear who benefits from the money raised by the shop
  • Clothes collectors giving the impression that they are supporting a charitable cause
  • Clothing banks where it is unclear how much of the money raised is being donated to the charity partner

If you are suspicious of any activity then you can fill in a simple form with the details. You can also remain anonymous if you wish. Click here for our on-line reporting form.

Any information you give will be handled in the strictest confidence and not divulged to any third party without your consent. If you have any queries please e-mail secretary@icsa.ie

Legitimate, registered charities that operate charity shops in Ireland rely totally on the generosity of general public for donations of clothes, books, shoes, bric-a-brac, household linen and furniture. These goods are then converted into revenue and used to fund the much needed services provided by the charities in your community.