Herald - Issue 450

Page 74 • The HERALD • 7th December 2023 v READ THE HERALD ONLINE: www.herald-publishing.co.uk v ASK A PROFESSIONAL CHARITIES ENCOURAGED TO SAFEGUARD DONATIONS AND RESOURCES During Charity Fraud Awareness Week at the end of November, Ansvar, a specialist insurer for the charity, not-for-pro t and faith sectors, raised awareness about how organisations can be proactive to protect their assets, reputation, and bene ciaries. Ansvar’s key strategies that charities and not-forpro t organisations can implement to help protect themselves against fraud are: Protect assets: Safeguarding physical cash and securing online transactions are paramount. Be aware of the risks in terms of nancial transactions and implement strong internal controls to mitigate those risks. Screen personnel: Ensure the right people are on board, from employees to suppliers. Implement comprehensive vetting procedures for sta and suppliers to identify potential risks. Train staff: Educate sta about the tell-tale signs of fraud, such as common spelling errors in communication, unusual communication tones, or unexpected urgent requests from unknown sources. Regularly assess risks: Conduct risk assessments to identify vulnerable areas within an organisation. Knowing where potential risks lie allows charities to implement safeguards and allocate responsibilities appropriately. Multiple individuals should oversee high-risk areas, such as nances, to create a robust system of checks and balances. Ansvar’s online risk assessment guide for charities may help. Have adequate insurance: Having the right insurance is crucial. Ensure a policy covers the speci c risks an organisation faces and be aware of any exclusions. Ansvar’s Sam Ward explains: “Your insurance broker will be able to help you find the right policy for your specific needs. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to seek their guidance.” Cyber-attacks are also a growing concern for charitable organisations. e increasing sophistication of cyber threats makes it challenging to di erentiate between legitimate and malicious communications, especially without proper training and processes in place. Charities must invest in cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data and maintain the trust of their donors. Sam Ward underscores the importance of these measures: “Fraud, including cyber-attacks, is a very real threat. Charity Fraud Awareness Week is a reminder for charities to fortify their defences against deceptive activities, and we are encouraging charitable and notfor-profit organisations to take proactive measures to protect themselves. By implementing practical steps, charities can continue their invaluable work and ensure that funds entrusted to them are used for their intended purposes.” New Forest District Council has developed a new online tool that will help you check the energy e ciency of your home. ‘Cosy Homes New Forest’ is now available at: cosyhomesnewforest.planbuilder.co.uk/ and can help you create a plan to make your home warmer, reduce your carbon footprint, and cut energy bills. e tool is free to use, and is also useful for landlords who want to comply with the Minimum Energy E ciency Standards. Check the Energy Efficiency of Your Home