How to regularly give money to charity

Find out how to donate throughout the year

Melanie Wright – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Melanie Wright | Independent Money Mentor

Award-winning freelance financial journalist


Many of us are keen to help charitable causes, but are often only reminded to do so when there are big fundraising dates in the calendar, such as Children in Need or Comic Relief. And so below you’ll find some of the easy ways to set up regular donations, so you can do your bit throughout the year.

Workplace Giving

Many employers offer Workplace Giving schemes, sometimes known as payroll giving, whereby you can make charitable donations every month from your salary before any tax is taken off. That means it costs you less to make a donation than it would if you made it from income which has already been taxed. For example, if you’re a basic rate taxpayer and make a £50 donation each month through payroll giving, each donation will only cost you £40. If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, it will only cost you £30 to make the same £50 donation. 

To join your company’s Workplace Giving scheme, if they offer one, all you need to do is ask for and fill in a form from your employer, and the charity will be notified automatically. If your employer doesn’t offer a Workplace Giving scheme, it’s worth asking if they’d consider providing one, particularly if your colleagues are also interested in making regular donations to charity. 


Set up a regular donation

Lots of charities’ websites allow you to set up monthly donations online, so that the money simply comes out of your account automatically each month.

Alternatively, you can make regular monthly gifts to the charity of your choice online through charity fund-raising sites, such as Virgin Money Giving. You can search for the charity you want on the homepage and once you’ve found them click on ‘make a donation’. 

You then need to change the first option from ‘single’ to ‘regular’ and state when you want your donation to be collected. All donations will have Gift Aid reclaimed on them, boosting the amount that goes to your charity. Gift Aid enables charities to reclaim the income tax on donations received from UK taxpayers.


Donate as you shop

The website www.giveasyoulive.com will donate a percentage of everything you spend online to the charity of your choice. There are over 4,200 online retailers to shop with and all you need to do is click through to your chosen shop from the Give as you Live site, and shop as you usually would. So far, the site has raised nearly £9m for UK charities.

The donation amount depends on which retailer you go to. Most of the time you raise a percentage of the amount you spend – typically between 1% and 10% – although sometimes it can be a fixed amount. It costs you nothing to give regularly to charity this way, as the donations come from commission given by retailers to the site for referrals. Several other websites also enable you to donate every time you shop online, such as www.easyfundraising.org.uk and www.thegivingmachine.co.uk.


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