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A guide to donating to charities

To gain the greatest satisfaction possible from donating to the charity of your choice, be sure to choose wisely. It's not easy to choose which charity to donate to, especially since there are so many out there that claim to have the same purpose. Yet many go about it differently and focus on different ways in which to obtain their set goals, so which charity should you donate to, and what's the best way to make donations to charity? If you want to make a difference but aren't sure how, then carry on reading.

Do you have a passion for animals, or would you feel happier helping people? Would you rather assist those with debilitating diseases, or those surviving in poor living conditions? Once you've chosen the type of charity you would like to donate to, then decide which method of assistance you prefer. For example, some charities that work on assisting rape victims may choose to counsel those who have already suffered the trauma, while others may focus more on prevention, and yet another may focus on both these aspects.

Gift Aids - an overview

Donations are treated as if the donor had already deducted basic rate tax from them. The charity can then reclaim this tax to increase the value of a donation.

Gift aid rules
Donors must

pay enough UK income tax and/or capital gains tax themselves to cover the amount of tax the charity will reclaim


give the charity a gift aid declaration, which should include

  • their name
  • their home address
  • the charity's name
  • details of the donation - saying that it is a gift aid donation
  • confirmation that they have paid UK tax - to cover the tax the charity will reclaim.
What should I do once I have choosen the charity?

Once you've chosen the charity to donate to - and be sure to investigate whether or not your chosen charity is actually making a difference first - then there's the decision on how to help. There's the usual choice of simply donating money to charity, which can be done in the form of a cheque, cash or salary deduction, and the bonus to this form of charity donation is that it won't take up much of your time.

Other ways of donatings...

If you can't afford to donate money to charity, then you could also donate household items, such as clothing or blankets, or you can make food purchases to donate. Other ways of donating include sponsoring an animal (the money will go towards feeding and homing the animal), volunteering to help collect donated items, doing administration work, cooking, or participating in a walk-a-thon if your favoured charity has one. Above all, don't forget to follow the progress of the charity you're donating to, to ensure that your time and money are being used wisely.