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charity donations

(25 Posts)
BrikSchittHaus Tue 24-Jun-14 15:50:32

how do you choose what charity to donate to?

If you make a regular donation, how have you decided who "deserves" the money most, ifyswim?

I'm in quite a lucky position where I'm able to set up a regular donation to a charity or two via my small business. I'm struggling to choose one as there are so many brilliant causes out there that are crying out for help. While I won't be in a position to donate millions, I want to be able to make a difference and so have been looking at smallish, non cool, but vital causes. It would be good to get involved with a UK organisation that works with communities or groups over here and would prefer not to give to animal based causes as the humans probably need more support at the moment.

I'd be grateful for thoughts and suggestions.

FairyPenguin Tue 24-Jun-14 15:58:12

I have a CAF Charity Account where I put in a set amount each month then can write a cheque or donate online when I find a charity I want to donate to. For example if someone is looking for sponsorship I can then give a larger amount than I would otherwise have done, and I donated to a local charity when there was an appeal in the paper.

BrikSchittHaus Tue 24-Jun-14 16:18:08

Thanks Fairy, I've just had a quick look and it seems that they have quite a complex charging structure to hold your funds and make donations if you are donating via a company.

I would prefer to chose and make payments direct rather than paying a fee to a middle man.

Any more thoughts?

beautifulgirls Tue 24-Jun-14 16:32:47

I donate regularly to the Evelina Childrens Hospital in London because they were truly amazing when my little girl was very ill. It is because of them that we have her still. I will never be able to repay the costs of her care, but the money I can donate, and also extra fund raising will go some way to helping lots of other children. I also believe that they are very much under the shadow of Great Ormond Street when it comes to fund raising and people do not donate as readily to the Evelina. Both of course are great hospitals, I am not knocking Great Ormond Street in any way.

BristolRover Tue 24-Jun-14 16:37:20

I donate to Freedom from Fistula (reading Cutting for Stone sent me that way), Sight Savers (because they can make a large difference with a relatively small donation) and Oxfam (becauase I haven't got round to deleting the direct debit). SHelterbox.
do them all by direct debit.
when it comes to tax return time, there's always several hundred more in random donations for other charities for marathon runners & other sponsored events.

FruVikingessOla Tue 24-Jun-14 16:43:33

How about a charity (or a few charities) in your local area? You might have to do a bit more delving to find out who needs what locally (have a look on your local newspaper website, for example) - it's the small, local groups who would be thrilled to receive a donation.

southwest1 Tue 24-Jun-14 17:16:41

I donate to a small charity via give as you earn, it's run by volunteers and every penny goes to support the people they are there to help, I can't give money to charities that pay out massive salary costs. It's called the Breakaway Foundation and support children aged 0-18 with bladder/bowel diversions/dysfunction and their families. So children with various kinds of stomas, or who self catheterise or use rectal washouts, all the things that you don't talk about in normal life as it's too embarrassing.

BrikSchittHaus Tue 24-Jun-14 17:16:56

thank you for the suggestions so far - these are really thoughtful.

I've struggled to find local organisations so far, as lack of profile can sometimes be an issue

Would appreciate any other suggestions too.

Viviennemary Tue 24-Jun-14 17:20:59

I'm not mad keen on charities that are supported by national celebrities. And I hate multi-millionaires trying to persuade me to donate my meagre pennies. I don't think you can go wrong with a local hospice as they usually have lots of dedicated volunteers and sincere people.

Corygal Tue 24-Jun-14 17:27:02

Kiddies, dogs and cancer get most people's votes already, so I deliberately give to unphotogenic causes.

I go for charities that help unfashionable causes - mental health, homelessness and nature (as opposed to animals). There's precious little state resource for this lot too. I also like charities that raise money as well as helping their local community, the way the Sally Army does.

iwantavuvezela Tue 24-Jun-14 17:31:40

Ours are breast cancer (in memory of a cousin who lost against breat cancer). Shelter, WWF (rhinos), amnesty ... Have standing orders that go out monthly
Only problem is that they call constantly!!!!!

BrikSchittHaus Tue 24-Jun-14 17:36:51

this is it Vivienne, charities which have high profile support are often lucky with funding which is wonderful

but, there are so many causes which aren't under that umbrella but do wonderful things on a shoe string, that's where I would really like to get involved.

NotCitrus Tue 24-Jun-14 17:44:23

I donate to what is now Age UK, because old people aren't cute and get a fraction of what animals and children receive from charity, but also because their financial advisors ensured my grandparents had some money to leave to their grandchildren after years in care homes.
Also Amnesty, and a tiny arts organisation after the treasurer wrote regularly for years to me and then asked for a direct debit of 1 to 5 pounds a month, on the grounds that famous alumni and large funding sources were much more likely to donate if they could prove grassroots support. They got about 200 tiny DDs and some significant funds.

Also ds's school, which is the easiest way to support my local community - the school serves some very deprived areas (65%FSM) and has its own food bank.

Also donate to local charity shops because I'm too busy/lazy to sell on EBay any more.

RumAppleGinger Tue 24-Jun-14 18:50:29

this might be useful, you can search by region or browse by sectors.

KnackeredMuchly Tue 24-Jun-14 19:06:20

I decided to not do annual donations any more in order to sponsor friends and family in their endeavors. For whatever charity.

But near me there are two fabulous charities who I give small support to - Mummy's Star who were all over the press last week and Reuben's Retreat who are so close to their big financial goal.

The stories behind them make me weep but the fact they are local means I am supporting my community too which I love.

Leeds2 Tue 24-Jun-14 19:15:23

You will probably have a Home Start local to you, who would be more than happy to accept a donation.

Local hospice too.

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 24-Jun-14 19:53:21

I am the manager of our volunteer centre and we are desperately underfunded. Basically what we do is work with people who want to volunteer and charities who need volunteers. We also have a separate project working with people with additional needs to help them build confidence and other skills to volunteer.

We are funded by local authority, but it is going down every year and any other money we get is through me making grant applications. There is probably a BC in your town, and honestly, because we are so untrendy, we never get any one off or regular donations, but we honestly are vital, especially with places like the job centre threatening workfare etc. We would rather help someone volunteer for something they want to do than be forced into unpaid awful work.

It's the big and 'fluffy' charities that get the money - uncool, difficult to explain places like us don't. Just a thought!!

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 24-Jun-14 19:54:30

VC not BC!!

TheHouseatWhoCorner Tue 24-Jun-14 20:01:53

Maybe speak with your local Community Foundation? They will know of local causes you can make a great impact on. Or, if appropriate, set up a Trust to organize your giving.
Whatever you do, please make sure your donation/s are tax effective, eg use Gift Aid or a similar suitable scheme.

Imbroglio Tue 24-Jun-14 20:15:59

Agree with Community Foundation suggestion if you want to give locally.

Look at the Charity Commission to see what their record is like, how much reserves they have, what their financial management is like.

Also, let the charity have the full benefit of your donation. Don't tie them up in knots. A regular, reliable donation is the most valuable, so that they can build on it. Generally, charities like it if you take an interest but don't make them jump through hoops for the sake of it.

You might think about teaming up with a charity that can use your skills or where your staff can volunteer or take part in fundraising events. If you could organise a skydive or an awareness event for your chosen charity that would go down really well.

BrikSchittHaus Wed 25-Jun-14 00:40:12

Thank you so much for your thoughts, some really useful info here.

I agree with so much of what has been said, a regular, reliable donation is absolutely what is needed. part of the reason it's taken my little business a couple of years to get to this stage is wanting stability before I started down this road. Also, this may sound bad but I have no interest in additional interaction beyond donation, this is partly time related but also respecting their expertise. Beyond looking at annual accounts, I would want to feel confident that the charity was competent to fulfil its remit and get the money to where it needs to go.

I don't think gift aid applies if you are donating as a business but will ask the question.

Finally, I appreciate the suggestions regarding "unfashionable" causes - I hadn't considered some of these suggestions.

I think I am going to set up donations with a women's organisation - probably Women's Aid, a mental health charity and a local community project.

Biggles - what is your organisation called please? Is it a national charity with a local presence or just local?

Thanks again all for helping me to put my thoughts in order.

If you have a look at the Do It website (above) it will help you find locally based charities. It is really meant for linking volunteers with opportunities, but might also flag up some of the smaller local charities that you mentioned being hard to find.

There is also a link on the homepage to help you find your local Volunteer Centre. There is a network of independent volunteer centres around the country, I guess that is the sort of organisation Biggles works with. The link on Do It might help you find your local volunteer centre.

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 25-Jun-14 07:33:25

Just look up 'name of your town/region' volunteer centre! they are all sort of linked but independent at the same time. Looking on do-it is a really good idea too. I use it every day and didn't think of that grin

Imbroglio Wed 25-Jun-14 08:00:42

You sound fab, Brik.

BrikSchittHaus Wed 25-Jun-14 21:15:33

thanks again all - the links are great - I have a day off later this week and will work through them all.

I love how you can ask any question on here and someone will know where to start

also please don't think I'm doing anything special, one of the not so hidden advantages will be that I end up paying less tax overall from my business, also we're not talking millions of money - hopefully it will accumulate enough to make a difference to someone.

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