RIYADH — The General Authority for Awqaf (GAA) has updated the rules as well as the terms and conditions for submitting applications to collect donations for the purpose of establishing or financing endowments. This will be applicable to all requests submitted to obtain license for the fundraising to create new endowments or to finance existing endowments, for the purpose of sustaining, developing, operating, or reforming them.

In the fundraising regulations for the purpose of establishing or financing endowments offered on its Istitla platform, the authority stipulated that the applicant shall be a Saudi person, and the basic system of the fundraising or the condition of the endower should not prevent collecting donations, and that he should not have previously issued license to collect donations within a minimum period of 12 months.

The conditions included that the applicant should not have filed a request to collect donations that is under consideration of the authority, and that the owner of the activity, or one of his influencers and managers, should neither be convicted of a crime that violates honesty, integrity and honor nor included in the lists of the United Nations with regard to combating terrorism.

The authority said that the terms and conditions also included that the applicant should not have been previously removed from the supervision of any endowment by a final ruling due to a reason related to integrity, honesty, incompetence, or inadequacy. If the purpose of the fundraising is to finance an existing endowment, then the applicant must be the same endowment through the endower or the endowment administrator or his representative.

The authority also indicated that the documents that are supposed to be attached when submitting the application shall include a letter requesting a license to collect donations.

The regulations also oblige the applicant to submit other documents, including a study of the feasibility of establishing an endowment, or the feasibility of financing an existing endowment, and financial statements for the last three years of the applicant, if any, approved by a chartered accountant.

The regulations stipulate that the endowment banks for which donations are collected must be charitable or public banks within the Kingdom. They shall be compatible with the provisions of Islamic Shariah law and the applicable regulations.

The regulations confirmed that donations may only be used for the purpose for which they were collected, and on the basis of the terms and conditions, as well as with the banks stipulated in the license.

The authority added that in the event of a surplus in the fundraising account, after spending for the purposes specified in the license application, the authority shall transfer the surplus amount to another account similar to it in terms of purposes, banks and conditions, or the surplus amount shall be transferred to the nearest banks for those purposes specified in the license application, if a similar account is not available.

It is noteworthy that the GAA concerns with organizing, maintaining, and developing the endowments in a manner that achieves the requirements of endowment and enhances its role in economic and social development and social solidarity, in accordance with the purposes of the Islamic Shariah and its regulations.

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