Giving to charity

Charities can only make the difference they do thanks to your support. Millions of us donate a total of over £9bn a year to charities in the UK.

Which charity should I donate to?

Deciding which charity to donate to is a very personal decision. People donate for all sorts of reasons, but people normally donate because they are asked by someone or because they have an affinity with a particular issue. The best advice is to give to a charity you have faith in working on a cause you care about. You can get a good sense of how a charity makes a difference by looking at its website and annual reports.

How do I know what’s a good charity?

The very first thing to check if you’re thinking of donating to a charity is that it is definitely a registered charity. While they are relatively rare, sometimes people run scams where they pretend to be collecting for a fake charity. Read more about what to look out for. But the vast majority of charity collections are entirely legitimate, raising money for good causes, and you should feel confident about giving to them.

In general, charities think very hard about what the most effective way to spend donations is in order to make the biggest difference. For most people, there are a few quick things to look out for which can give you a good idea of whether you’re dealing with a charity that takes its impact seriously:

  • Do they have up-to-date accounts on their entry on the Charity Commission website?
  • Do they explain how they’ll use your donation to make a difference?
  • Are they open and transparent – can you find out information about them from their website?