Supporting a charity can be one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your money, goods, time or expertise is channelled directly to those who need it most.
Typically, the most efficient way of giving to charity is to contact your favourite charity and donate directly or discuss how best to go about it.
And, if you don’t know who to support, don’t worry! There are many ways to find a charity that benefits the good causes you care about.
You can search via the Charity Commission in England and Wales, the Scottish Charity Regulator or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.
Whichever charity you choose to support, think about the best way you can give.
When donating money, if you’re a taxpayer, make sure that you consider how you can make your gift go even further by making the most of the tax incentives available.
Remember that regular giving through Direct Debit or Payroll Giving will have the advantage of enabling charities to plan ahead and budget for the future, but there are many other options that may work better for you depending on your own circumstances. These include one-off donations, boosting the value of your donation through Gift Aid, remembering a charity in your Will, giving property or shares.
If you have goods that you wish to donate, there are various ways of going about this. Goods can generally be donated through charity shops, collection banks or household collections. While this can be a great way of helping your favourite cause, it also means that goods are recycled which is great for the environment.
Search for a local charity shop through the Charity Retail Association or contact your favourite charity if you have a particular item that you wish to donate to get their advice for the best way to go about it.
If you are able to give your time or expertise to charity, this can be hugely beneficial to all parties. Find out more about volunteering as a fundraiser here.
You can get started by contacting the charity of your choice or visiting your local volunteer bureau. Many people begin their careers in the not-for-profit sector as volunteers.
Find out more about volunteering opportunities in your area though your local Volunteer Centre or contact
You can search for your local Volunteer Centre or volunteering opportunities via:
In some cases you may be asked to donate to a cause that seems charitable, but is actually a scam. Thankfully, this remains rare, but it is important to be alert and to be able to give confidently. If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of an appeal or approach, simply:
- check that donation materials feature the charity’s name and landline telephone number;
- look for a charity registration number (which can be verified via the charity regulator); and
- asking questions.
Typically, a genuine fundraiser will be happy to discuss the work of the charity with you or will refer you to colleagues if he or she can’t answer all of your questions.
And remember that if you have any concerns about fundraising, you can either contact the charity directly, the Fundraising Regulator (for England and Wales) or Scottish Fundraising Complaints.