Muscat: Charity donations on the first day of Ramadan spiked by 250 per cent compared to the day before, according to the official donating portal.
The Holy Month of Ramadan is known as the month of charity and self-reflection and many people donate their time and money to help others in need.
Oman’s online government run donation portal Donate.om received more than OMR 90,000 worth of donations during the first quarter of Ramadan between May 7 to 14. The contributions were provided by over 6,881 donors.
According to data from the portal, there was a 250 per cent increase in the number of donations received on the first day of Ramadan, compared to the day before. The portal received OMR10,978 on May 7 compared to OMR3,081 the day before. Likewise the number of people that donated also significantly increased. On the first day of Ramadan, 739 people donated compared to May 6 which only recorded 114 donors.
Since then, donations have been steadily increasing with the figure only dropping to below OMR10,000 earlier this week.
Speaking to Times of Oman regarding the donation trends, Myssa Al Hinai, Marketing Director at Dar Al Atta’a, said: “Ramadan is the month in which we receive the highest amount of donations.”
“This could be due to the fact that many people believe that the reward from charity during this holy month is doubled, and also many people choose to donate their Zakat in Ramadan,” Al Hinai added.
“There are also causes such as paying for Eid clothes, Ramadan iftar meals and Ramadan rations that are only available during Ramadan, “ Al Hinai added.
Overall the first half of May has been successful in terms of donations. So far this month, the portal has more than OMR 108,000 worth of donations from 7,596 individuals.
“Having an online donation portal has definitely contributed to increasing donations, this is because it is much easier to donate now, as all you need to do is select your cause then choose your charity organisation and then simply donate,” said Al Hinai.
“The online portal has also made it safer for people to donate their money as they do not need to worry about if they are being scammed or where their money is going. Furthermore, online payments have made it easier for us to keep track of all the donations we receive,” she added.
Among the popular causes for donations are donations for Ramadan Iftar meal which allow individuals to pay at least OMR1 for a Muslim’s breaking fast meal. Another popular cause for donations is Ramadan rations where individuals can buy a ration package for a family in need worth OMR 30.
Al Hinai said: “Our new policy is we no longer donate dry goods to families, as we have found that some families have different needs, for instance some have allergies from certain types of food, others may have children and elderly people in their families who would therefore require different types of food. We respect those in need and in order to avoid waste, we now provide them with cash or coupons which allows them to then buy whatever they need.”
Rahima bint Habib Al Musafer, Chairman of Al Rahma Association spoke to Times of Oman regarding how the association prepares for Ramadan, “Al Rahma Association for the Care of Motherhood and Childhood has prepared to receive the holy month by organising a number of events and programmes which are set up annually.
“The association announces these activities and programmes early to allow donors the chance to get to know the objects of the donations and the different types of donations which allows them to then select the appropriate cause based on their intentions,” Al Musafer added.
According to Al Musafer, providing a clear and varied list of causes for donors to choose from during the holy month is one of the reasons for the rise in donations this month specifically.
“The association’s programmes and various activities are all done to serve the categories of the society in need. We receive donations such as food and flour donations, in addition to slaughtered meat, which we then distribute to needy families. We also received funds to cover Eid and school necessities for orphans,” said Al Musafer.
You can donate to official charitable causes in Oman via www.donate.om