Donating to a registered charity

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

Bogus charity shops

Unfortunately we live in a world where not everyone is genuine. Across the country there are shops accepting donations and reselling them who look and feel like charity shops but in fact are not genuine. Therefore we have put together this page to help you make sure your donations go to a genuine charity shop run by a registered charity.

We vet all our charity shop members to ensure they are all registered charities and they follow the Charity Shops Code of Practice. So if you see the Charity Retail Ireland badge in the window of the charity shop window you can be assured that they are a genuine charity shop.

If they are not members of Charity Retail Ireland 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 letter is displayed in the window from a charity thanking the shop for a donation.

Door to Door Collections

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

  1. Is the Charity Retail Ireland/Irish Charity Shops Association logo on the bag or sticker, (either our new or old logo)? [image of new logo and old logo]
  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 22,400. The Revenue publish an up-to-date list downloadable from this page of their website.

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

  • Bring your donation to a Charity Retail Ireland member charity shop near you. There are 500 member shops nationwide. Click here to find a shop near you.
  • Wait until a charity that you know is legitimate delivers a collection bag to your door (see list of our 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

Charity Retail Ireland members who do Door-to-Door Clothes Collections:

  • Barnardos
  • Enable Ireland
  • Irish Cancer Society
  • NCBI
  • Oxfam Ireland
  • Society of St Vincent de Paul
  • The Simon Community

The 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.

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 email hello@charityretail.ie