Muscat: Volunteer teams that collect donations will face legal consequences if they do not first obtain permits to solicit money, as discussions to regulate donations are underway at the Ministry for Social Development (MoSD). Under new regulations, volunteer teams, operating under the social development committee or working with civic associations, will receive permits to collect money, while independent volunteers will not be allowed to seek money from the public.
“There are many that collect money; some have a permit and some don’t. Those that don’t, will face legal consequence,” said officials at the Ministry. “If a team doesn’t collect money, they won’t need a permit, but can continue to do their work,” they added.
The ongoing discussions seek to regulate volunteer teams, assuring that those collecting money are part of an association that has received an official permit from the Ministry. Need to organise “We need to organise the work. Not all volunteer teams are operating correctly,” said the official.
“Volunteer teams need to join civic associations or be part of social development committees,” they added. The ministry officials said that the discussions about new regulations are meant to also assist volunteer teams in meeting their goals, as well as assure that they operate legally.
Ministry officials told Times of Oman’s sister publication, Shabiba, that they currently have 126 registered civic associations in the Sultanate operating under the ministry, and 18 volunteer teams working under the supervision of social development committees.
Wijdan Ahmed, Executive Marketing Director at Dar Al Ata’a, said that the new regulation will make things easier for approved and licensed civic associations. “I agree (that some charities are not reaching their goals), but it (the regulation) will make life easier for us and them, as well,” said Wijdan.
She said some unlicenced teams approach companies asking for donations, whichaffects bona fide groups. She said that teams that are legally working under a charity that is registered with the Ministry will need to carry a document from the association, if they want to approach a company for donations.
“At the end of the day, we want them (unregistered teams) to do well, we want them to have their own identity to reach their goals and help society,” said Wijdan.