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Top charity giving sites

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Helen S | Edited by Johanna

Updated November 2017

When running the marathon in a gorilla suit, or climbing the three peaks for charity, many people pick the best-known sites JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving to host their page. But it's worth doing your homework, as the amount your charity will get varies depending on the site.

This site-by-site guide helps you decide where to set your fundraising page up.

What happens when you donate?

How much does a charity actually get from a donation?

You might be forgiven for thinking that a £10 donation made by a friend online means a £10 donation directly to your charity of choice. In reality, however, it can be much more or much less, depending on the site and whether or not the donation includes Gift Aid.

Some of the factors affecting the amount the charity ends up with include:

Admin fees

Card charges

VAT

Tick the Gift Aid box

Gift aidUK taxpayers making online donations always have the option to pay via Gift Aid. This allows charities to claw back your tax from the HM Revenue & Customs on either one-off or regular donations, meaning your donation's increased by 25% or more.

All the charity needs is your name, address and a declaration that you're a UK taxpayer. As this can be verbal, it can also be done over the phone.

How much extra the charity gets from Gift Aid

Charities reclaim the tax at the basic 20% rate, which due to the way the numbers work means they get 25% more than you donate (so if you give £10, the charity gets £12.50).

What about higher or additional-rate taxpayers?

Any higher-rate (40%) or additional-rate (45%) taxpayers are able to reclaim the difference between the basic and higher rates (ie, 20% or 25%) on top of this.

For higher-rate taxpayers, on £10 that's another £2.50 (so £5 in total), and for additional-rate taxpayers, it's a further £3.12 (so additional-rate taxpayers can give £15.62 from a donation of £10 - 56.2% on top of your original donation).

Higher and additional-rate taxpayers can choose whether to claim the extra tax relief when filling out their tax self-assessment form, though there's also an option to donate this extra tax to charity too.

If you don't do self-assessment contact HMRC and ask for a P810 form..

What happens to donations?

The top giving sites

Online giving sites can be private companies, not-for-profit sites or actual charities and this affects where your money goes (see the individual sites section for a full breakdown).

While you might prefer a site that gives the biggest proportion of donors' money straight to your charity, you might find your favourite charity isn't registered on that site, or even that it has to pay a hefty fee for the privilege of being registered there. The sites vary a lot, from simply hosting basic pages to offering a whole range of features such as integrating with fitness tracking and allowing people to donate via text. They also offer different services for charities, such as training, reporting features and claiming Gift Aid.

Here's a run-down of what we found, we've compared by the amount you'd expect a charity to get, including Gift Aid.

  • Max cash to your charity and free for it to use

    MyDonate comes top, giving charities the £12.35 from a £10 donation with Gift Aid. It has no charges for the charity itself, though you are charged a flat 15p debit card fee. It has around 9,500 charities signed up, including all of the top 10.

  • Online selling for charity

    If you want to sell online and have the proceeds go to charity, PayPal Giving Fund (formerly MissionFish) gives the full £12.50 per £10 to your chosen charity. It's a collaboration between PayPal and eBay, and allows you to choose what percentage of sale proceeds you want to go to charity. The drawback is that it doesn't support fundraising efforts that rely on sponsorship.

Amount passed on by sites for a £10 donation + Gift Aid (if debit card used)
Amount given directly to charity Transaction fees/ VAT Charges to charity Number of charities signed up
Donate to UK charities:
MyDonate £12.35 £0.15 flat debit card fee £0 12,800
Charity Choice £12.25 £0.25 flat debit card fee (1) £0 4,000
Virgin Money Giving £12.15 3.45% fee £140 - one-off 13,500
Every Click £11.94 4.8% fee on donation + 3% on gift aid £0 (2)
Givey £12.50 (but an extra 50p is charged on top of your £10 donation) 5% fee £0  
Everydayhero £12.66 but you pay a 62p fee on top 6.2% fee £0 5,600+
JustGiving £11.74 1.25% card fee + 5% fee on donation + gift aid £15 or £39 - monthly (4) 25,000+
Have your donation matched:
The Big Give £12.00 £0.50 £0 9000+
Donate to charities based overseas:
Global Giving £11.25 £1.25 £0 2,700+
Donate and fundraise through online sales:
Paypal Giving Fund £12.50 £0 £0 4,000+
(1) Donors can opt out of paying the fee. If they do, it's passed onto the charity. (2) Can start raising funds for any charity and Every Click will contact them asking them to sign up. (3) If you donate £10 to charity, it'll cost you £10.50 but the charity gets the full £10 donation. (4) Charities raising over £15,000 in 12 months will be charged £39/mth. Charities raising less will be charged £15/mth.

Online giving sites - full breakdown

Here's our guide to ten of the biggest online fundraising sites (those with the most registered charities) along with how they work, and exactly how much your charity will get from online donations. For each site, we've highlighted the amount the charity would receive from a £10 donation made on a debit card with Gift Aid (max possible £12.35).

Click to see the top 10 fundraising charities hosted

It's worth noting that while most of the sites work on a standard fundraising-style page, some work on a project basis: you find the cause which interests you and register to raise funds through a specific project.

Raise money for UK charities

My donate

MyDonate £12.35 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

BT launched its not-for-profit site MyDonate in 2011 and it's funded by 1% of BT's profits. This means it's free for charities, barring the 15p/1.3% debit/credit card processing fee.

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set up a page?

How easily can individuals set up a page?

Charity Choice

Charity Choice £12.25 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

Charity Choice charges 25p to process donations made by card. It does, however, give donors the choice of whether to pay this fee, in which case the charity would receive the full donation and Gift Aid totalling £12.50. Charity Choice tell us most donors choose to pay the admin fees. If they choose not to, the fee is passed onto the charity.

It's free for charities, unless they choose to sign up to the premium service, in which case there's a £99+VAT charge.

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set up a page?

How easily can individuals set up a page?

Virgin Money Giving

Virgin Money Giving £12.15 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

Not suprisingly, Virgin Money Giving is the online fundraising arm of Virgin Money. It's a not-for-profit site borne out of the company's sponsorship of the London Marathon, and has around 11,000 charities currently registered with it.

Virgin Money Giving takes 3.45% of donations as its ongoing admin fee to charities.

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set up a page?

How easily can individuals set up a page?

Every Click

Every Click: £11.94 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

Every Click has a slightly different way of doing things, as it allows fundraisers to select a charity even if it isn't registered on the site by contacting them separately once funds have been raised. It also allows registered users to raise money for charities when they shop on the web through its Give as you Live portal.

Every Click is a profit making company.

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set up a page?

How easily can individuals set up a page?

Just Giving

JustGiving £11.74 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

JustGiving is probably the best known of the online fundraising sites with over 25,000 causes to donate to.

It is a profit-making site and attracts the big names such as Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation, but this does come with a big monthly fee - £39 for charities that make over £15,000 in donations through the site each year and £15 for those that make less.

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set up a page?

How easily can individuals set up a page?

Everydayhero £12.66 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid (plus 62p fee on top)

Everydayhero is a profit-making site, but has more features than the smaller sites - eg, its partnered with MapMyFitness and Strava so you can track the time and effort you've put into training and add it to your fundraising page. Everydayhero has some of the highest fees but the donor pays this unless they opt out. Unlike Givey, Everydayhero collects Gift Aid on the fee as well as the donation.

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set up a page?

How easily can individuals set up a page?

Have your donation matched

Big Give logo

The Big Give: Online donations give £12.00 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

The Big Give is a not-for-profit website, with all running costs covered by the Reed Foundation (the charitable arm of recruitment giant Reed). Its charges are from the Charities Trust (a not-for-profit HMRC approved donation processor, and a registered charity) to cover card processing and admin costs. It also runs match funding campaigns such as the Christmas Challenge (the 2017 Christmas Challenge runs from 28th November to 5th December).

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set up a page?

How easily can individuals set up a page?

Donate to charities based overseas

Global Giving

Global Giving £11.50 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

GlobalGiving is a charity which provides any approved not-for-profit organisation worldwide with a platform to raise funds, participate in crowdfunding campaigns and receive funding from GlobalGiving’s corporate partners including Facebook, Nokia and Salesforce. They also provide training, tools and support for charities.

It charges 5% plus a 3% processing fee (inclusive of Gift Aid) on each donation made to a UK registered charity and 7% plus a 3% processing fee for overseas charities.

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set up a page?

How easily can individuals set up a page?

Donate and fundraise through online sales

Paypal Giving Fund

PayPal Giving Fund: donate and fundraise through PayPal/eBay £12.50 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

PayPal Giving Fund (formerly Mission Fish) is a registered charity which allows charities to raise money online through eBay sales or PayPal usage. It allows sellers to donate a proportion or all of their profits, or allows one-off donations to charities on its site.

Uniquely, it charges no fees or commission, so a £10 sale means that £12.50 is donated to the charity (if you choose to donate 100%). However, you must raise money by selling on eBay, which means you can't use this to raise money through sponsored events.

Which charities can I give to?

How easily can charities set-up a page?

How easily can individuals set-up a page?

Charity giving: other ways to donate

Buy from high-street & online retailers through charity sites

Do you have old shares to donate?

Can't afford to give? Feed the starving for free

Regular donor?

Donate through your salary to up the donation

Get a charity chequebook

Ditch your charity credit card - and get a cashback card

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