Irish charities have warned they may be forced to re-open the door to online fundraising, amid new guidance that the new system could cause confusion for those wanting to start fundraising online.
The charity institute, which operates the Irish Charity Fund, told Business Insider that it is in discussions with charities and the Department of Finance to “explore options to address this”.
The move comes after the Dfinance released guidance on the use of the new crowdfunding site in November 2017.
The document was designed to help charities, including those using the new site, to better communicate with the public.
It said the new platform was designed “to better communicate the fundraising process and help you identify opportunities and opportunities to raise funds”.
But it warned that the system “does not yet meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2015”.
The Dfence’s guidance said that “the information provided on the site may be inaccurate and incomplete”.
It added: “This information should not be relied upon as an indicator of whether you are eligible to apply to be a beneficiary of the DFS scheme.”
Charity Institute president and CEO Cathal MacNeish said the Dafence guidance could have been a “warning shot” at charities that were struggling to cope with the new rules.
“If it was going to be so difficult to communicate that it wasn’t going to happen, we’d probably just close it down,” he said.
The DFS has faced criticism for its response to the new campaign, which has attracted criticism from charities who have questioned whether the new website is fair or legal.
It is unclear how much money will be raised via the new fundraising site, and the Dofence’s new guidance on how to set up an account did not address the possibility of the system being used to make money off of fundraising.
The organisation said it would be seeking clarity from the Dfs “as soon as possible”.
It also said it was “working closely with the charity regulator to understand how the new application will impact on existing charities and their existing partners”.