What do charities do?

Thanks to you, charities in the UK make a difference to millions of lives here and around the world. They play a vital role in our society, and we all benefit.

Charities bring together people who care about a cause so that they can make a difference. Whatever it is that you care about, there will be a charity working on it.

Charities help in lots of different ways, but the main ways are by providing direct help, giving information, or raising awareness of an issue. Lots of charities do a mix of these things.

Charities, just like businesses, come in all shapes and sizes. Read more about how many charities there are and how they’re distributed.

Research conducted for the Charity Commission in 2014 showed that 40% of the public say that they or their close family or friends have benefited from or used the services of a charity. And when prompted with a wider range of services that charities might provide, such as art galleries, museums and youth clubs, the figure rose to 93%.

Around a quarter of charities in Britain are faith-based in some way, with research suggesting that faith-based charities make up nearly half of all overseas aid and human rights charities.

You can read more about finding a charity to donate to or volunteer for in the Get Involved section.