Top charity giving sites

Choose the best fundraising site

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.

In this guide...

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

    In terms of maxing your cash, you can't beat Wonderful.org, which gives charities the full £12.50 from a £10 donation with Gift Aid. It doesn't charge any service or processing fees to the charities, meaning 100% of your donation goes directly to doing good.

    The catch is that Wonderful is still small, with only 130 charities signed up.

    Out of the major players, MyDonate comes top, giving charities £12.35 from a £10 donation with Gift Aid. It doesn't charge any service fees to the charities, although they will have to pay a 1.3% charge for donations made by credit card, or a flat 15p fee for debit cards. It has around 12,800 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 CHARGED TO THE CHARITY ADDITIONAL MEMBERSHIP FEES CHARGED TO THE CHARITY NUMBER OF CHARITIES SIGNED UP
Fundraise for UK charities:
Wonderful £12.50 None £0 130
MyDonate £12.35 £0.15 flat debit card fee £0 12,800
Charity Choice £12.50 (if you pay a 25p fee on top) £0.25 flat debit card fee (1) £0 4,000
Golden Giving £12.22 2-3% donation charge (2) £0 1,500
Virgin Money Giving £12.15 2% transaction fee + 1.5% card processing fee (2) £150 plus VAT - one-off 13,500
Everyclick £11.94 4.8% fee on donation + 3% on gift aid £0 200,000 (3)
Everydayhero £12.03 4.25% transaction processing fee + 1.6% card processing fee £0 5,600+
JustGiving £11.74 1.25% card processing fee + 5% fee on donation + gift aid £15 or £39 - monthly (4) 25,000+
Have your donation matched:
The Big Give £12.00 4% processing fee £0 9000+
Donate to charities based overseas:
Global Giving £11.25 5-7% service fee + 3% processing fee £0 2,700+
Donate and fundraise through online sales:
Paypal Giving Fund £12.50 None £0 4,000+
(1) Donors can choose to absorb this cost by paying an additional 25p on their donation. (2) Fees are not charged on Gift Aid (3) Can start raising funds for any charity and Everyclick will contact them asking them to sign up. (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).

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

Wonderful.org

In terms of maxing your cash, you can't beat Wonderful.org, which gives charities the full £12.50 from a £10 donation with Gift Aid. It doesn't charge any service or processing fees to the charities, meaning 100% of your donation goes directly to doing good.

The catch is that Wonderful is still small, with only 130 charities signed up. These tend to be smaller, regional organisations (although there are a couple of bigger charities such as Mind and Dogs Trust).

Wonderful says it is growing fast - and registered charities can sign up to get involved. Please feedback if you use it.

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.

  • Currently around 12,800 including 9 of the top 10, other big organisations and a range of smaller, local charities.

    Of the top 10 so far?

    Oxfam, The Salvation Army, Save the Children, NSPCC, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, RNLI, Macmillan & Cancer Research UK

  • Charities can register totally free online for MyDonate and the aim is for them to be activated within 24 hours. Once this is done a charity can create and publish its profile including forthcoming events, pictures and links to social media channels and its own website, after which the fundraising can begin.

  • Setting up a page takes less than five minutes:

    1. Click 'start fundraising'.

    2. Decide if you're joining an organised event, creating your own challenge or celebrate someone special.

    3. Enter your personal details

    4. Choose the charity or charities you want to fundraise for.

    5. Create your page - you can add text, images, video and a personal message.

    6. Save the page and share the link with your friends.

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.

  • Over 4,000 charities are currently registered for fundraising donations, but you can choose to support others with one-off/regular donations, gifts or will bequests. It's got a few of the top 10 charities, plus thousands of smaller ones. There's a good search facility where you can narrow down by charity sector.

    Of the top 10?

    Save the Children, NSPCC, RNLI & Cancer Research UK

  • To register, charities must fill in the online form to activate their microsite. They'll then receive an email with instructions on how to get started. The site does need documentation posting - this is one bank statement dated within the last three months, and a gift aid form. Once these documents are checked, the charity's microsite can go live.

  • Setting up a page takes less than five minutes:

    1. Click 'fundraising'.

    2. Fill in the form, and pass the simple security check.

    3. They'll email you to activate and verify your account.

    4. You can then access your account and set up new fundraising events.

    5. Choose your charity, fundraising targets and Gift Aid status.

    6. Personalise your page, and share it with Facebook.

Golden Giving

£12.22 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

Golden Giving is the a not-for-profit site with 1,500 registered charities—fewer than the others on our list but charities can sign up for free. You can use the site to set up team fundraising pages as well as individual fundraising pages.

Golden Giving takes a donation charge of 2-3% (applied to the donation itself but not to Gift Aid): it works out at around 28p for a £10 donation, or 70p for a £30 donation.

  • Among its 1,500 charities, Golden Giving has 7 of the top 10 all signed up.

    Of the top 10?

    Oxfam, The Salvation Army, Save the Children, NSPCC, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, and RNLI.

  • Charities must register through an online form, then complete a Gift Aid form if they wish us to reclaim Gift Aid, which must be returned via email with a recent bank statement. They might also need proof of non-profit status.  Once received, these forms are checked for fraud, but Golden Giving try to have a charity page set up within 24 hours of receiving the forms.

  • Signing up is straightforward:

    1. Sign up
    2. Click 'create an individual fundraising page'.
    3. Search and choose your charity.
    4. Choose your web address.
    5. Edit photos and text.
    6. Save the page (you can add widgets later, and share with Facebook, Twitter, etc).

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

Not surprisingly, 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 - 2% as a transaction fee and 1.45% as a card processing fee.

  • Among its 13,500 charities, Virgin Money Giving has the top 10 all signed up, along with other large charities like BBC Children In Need.

    Of the top 10?

    Oxfam, Sightsavers, The Salvation Army, Save the Children, NSPCC, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, RNLI, Macmillan & Cancer Research UK.

  • Registering a charity requires charities to give their bank details, fill in a gift aid form and provide trustee details. Charities must also pay a £150 + VAT set-up fee before registration is complete.

    After that, Virgin Money Giving creates a basic page for them, with the charity's name and logo, links to the charity's website, a 'donate now' box and a 'contact us' box. The charity can then customise the page by adding extra info, uploading photos and text.

  • Virgin Money Giving has a lot of extra options to add to your page, which makes it a bit more complicated and fussy to set up:

    1. Click 'start fundraising'.

    2. Choose the reason you are fundraising from 'organised event', 'personal challenge', 'special occasion' or 'someone special'.

    3. Fill in the challenge details (what, where, when, etc).

    4. Search and select your charity or charities, or click the 'invite them to join' option if not listed.

    5. Enter your registration details.

    6. Create your web address.

    7. Then create, customise and share your page

 Everyclick:
£11.94 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

Everyclick 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.

Everyclick is a profit-making company.

  • Through the site you can raise funds for over 200,000 UK charities, or elect to do it for all charities connected to the site.

    Of the top 10?

    Oxfam, Sightsavers, The Salvation Army, Save the Children, NSPCC, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, RNLI, Macmillan & Cancer Research UK.

  • The site uses the UK's charities list as provided by the Charity Commission, meaning fundraisers can find the charity they need. Once funds have been raised, the charity will be contacted, and they will then need to register on the site to collect their funds.

    To do this, they need to complete an online form and have their charity credentials verified, which can take up to a week.

  • It only takes about five minutes:

    1. Choose your charity.

    2. Register your details.

    3. Create your page and add basic info.

 Everydayhero
£12.03 to charity per £10 donation with Gift Aid

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.

  • There are over 25,000 charities worldwide registered with the site.

    Of the top 10?

    Oxfam, NSPCC, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, Sightsavers, Macmillan, RNLI & Cancer Research UK.

  • Charities must register through an online form, then complete a Gift Aid form, which must be returned with a recent bank statement. They might also need proof of non-profit status too.

    Once received, these forms are checked for fraud, but JustGiving tries to have a charity's page set up within 24 hours of receiving their forms.

  • Making a basic page is pretty simple, and takes about five minutes:

    1. Click 'create a campaign'.

    2. Enter registration details or register with facebook.

    3. Search and choose your charity.

    4. Choose type of event.

    5. Choose your web address.

    6. Edit photos and text.

    7. Save the page (you can add widgets later, and share with Facebook, Twitter, etc).

 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.

  • There are over 25,000 charities worldwide registered with the site.

    Of the top 10?

    Oxfam, The Salvation Army, Save the Children, NSPCC, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, RNLI, Sightsavers, Macmillan & Cancer Research UK.

  • Charities must register through an online form, then complete a Gift Aid form, which must be returned with a recent bank statement. They might also need proof of non-profit status too.

    Once received, these forms are checked for fraud, but JustGiving tries to have a charity's page set up within 24 hours of receiving their forms.

  • Making a basic page is pretty simple, and takes about five minutes:

    1. Click 'create a campaign'.

    2. Enter registration details or register with facebook.

    3. Search and choose your charity.

    4. Choose type of event.

    5. Choose your web address.

    6. Edit photos and text.

    7. Save the page (you can add widgets later, and share with Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Have your donation matched

 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.

  • Nearly 10,000 worldwide charities ranging from niche charities in far-away countries, which help with things such as building schools in slum areas and helping with education in poorer towns, to local UK charities that help promote sports in schools and communities.

    Of the top 10?

    Oxfam, RSPCA, The Salvation Army, Save the Children, NSPCC, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, Sightsavers, Macmillan & Cancer Research UK.

  • Registration can take only five minutes with the Big Give, as it uses information from the Charity Commission. Charities then create projects for which they need donations, such as helping banana farmers in the Caribbean by setting up a market.

    The site's creator refers to this as a 'shop window' process to promote their work rather than an event's fundraising page.

  • Sadly, individuals can't set up their own page on this site, but can track down projects and charities to donate to or to fundraise offline for.

Donate to charities based overseas

 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.

  • GlobalGiving focuses on supporting smaller charities and those working in a local community. Donations can be made to projects run by vetted charities. It usually features more than 4,000 projects operating in more than 160 countries worldwide, delivered by around 2,700 individual charities. These projects range from life skills training in India to school places across Kenya to trauma support for people in the UK.

    Of the top 10?

    GlobalGiving works with larger, global charities especially for disaster-related projects including , Oxfam and Save the Children (as they work worldwide), but the majority of projects are run by local 'grassroots' organisations.

  • Charities can apply online to join the GlobalGiving community, following which they will be invited to join an Accelerator Campaign that happens four times each year. The application process involves submitting documents related to the organisation, which must be a registered not-for-profit.

    Once registered, a charity can post a project and will be supported with training and guidance to raise at least £4,000 in 21 days from 40 people.
    Following the Accelerator, charities can post more projects, access free online fundraising & communications training, donor communications and management tools, and potentially receive additional funding from match funding campaigns and corporate funding.

  • It only takes a couple of minutes to sign up and set up a fundraiser for a listed project. Following this link, you can create a personal fundraiser page, choose a project to support, add a photo and start fundraising from friends and colleagues.

Donate and fundraise through online sales

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.

  • There are over 4,000 charities you can raise money for by selling on eBay.

    Of the top 10?

    Oxfam, RSPCA, The Salvation Army, Save the Children, NSPCC, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, Sightsavers, Macmillan & Cancer Research UK.

  • To register, charities need to fill in an online form, then send their charity documentation via email, fax or post. PayPal Giving Fund then vets the info and validates the registration, which takes one business day. Charities are then listed on the site and eBayers/PayPal users can choose to donate to them.

  • This can be a complicated process if you're starting from scratch. You need to sign up as an eBay seller and register on PayPal before donating to charity.

    If you already have an eBay account:

    1. Click sell, and choose the advanced sell option.

    2. Enter the item details and description as you would a normal listing.

    3. In the 'Choose how you'd like to sell your item' section, scroll to the 'raise money for your chosen charity' section'. Search and select your charity.

    4. Select the percentage you would like to give from your donation.

    5. You will need to provide a payment method for your donations.

    6. Select Gift Aid if applicable.

    7. List your item.

Charity giving: other ways to donate

  • You can support both the RNLI and Macmillan Cancer Support by following a link from their sites and buying from Amazon. In return, Amazon promise to donate a minimum of 5% of the value of all orders made to the charity concerned.

    Other retailers also have charity partners. Shop at John Lewis, M&S, eBay, Amazon, Argos, The Body Shop & more through charity portals Give as you Liveeasyfundraising.org.uk  or The Giving Machine and the retailers pledge to donate part of your spend to your chosen cause.

    There's a big number of charities you can support, or you can set up a cause if you're fundraising for a specific local project or running a marathon.

  • Donating shares to charity is a less obvious way of giving but there are tax benefits here too. Sign over your shares to charity and there's no capital gains tax and you can offset their value (on the day you transfer) against income tax.

    There's a number of ways this can be beneficial. Perhaps you've a shareholding so small it's not worth selling? Or it can be a useful way to give if you've used up your capital gains tax limit (you can make up to £11,300 of one-off gains a year before tax is applicable), or you want to offload some shares and the income tax write-off means you get a double hit tax benefit.

    The transfer form itself works as a record of the transfer and the responsibility of selling the shares moves to the charity, which can wait until it builds up a bigger portfolio to cut down stockbroking costs.

  • There is a way to help at no cost. The Hunger Site and similar sites work by sponsorship. You go to the site, click the link, and sponsors pay for food to be donated to someone who is starving. There are other similar sites which donate to various causes.

Regular donor?

  • Payroll giving lets you donate a regular amount directly from your salary through your employer's payroll. The donation is given before tax (but after National Insurance) is taken off, so the charity automatically gets more, regardless of what level of tax you pay.

    If you're a basic-rate taxpayer, you pay 80p for every £1 donation. For higher-rate taxpayers, it's 60p, and for additional-rate taxpayers, it's 55p. In other words, the charity gets the tax that you would have paid, on top of what you're actually paying, ie, the full £1.

    The only problem is employers must have a scheme in place: you can't just do it on your own. Ask your HR department if your firm runs a scheme. If not, it's worth trying to encourage it. It's a simple process run through automated payroll systems. The Association of Payroll Giving Organisations (APGO) may be able to help.

    Unfortunately, self-employed sole traders can't access payroll giving.

  • The Charities Aid Foundation runs special charity accounts which let you pay money in directly through either Gift Aid or payroll giving, where the tax is automatically collected and added to your account.

    After this, you can use a special Charity Voucher Book - it works like a chequebook - to donate from your account, or make payments online, to a charity of your choice. The big advantage is you can donate tax-efficiently on impulse, even putting the special vouchers in collection tins to ensure the charity gains the maximum amount. You can choose to have your name on the voucher book, like a chequebook, or leave it blank if you want your donations to be anonymous.

    Tax breaks can make a real difference to the size of donations. To give £20 using the Gift Aid scheme, a basic-rate taxpayer would only need to give £16, a higher-rate taxpayer £12, and an additional-rate taxpayer just £11 (assuming the extra tax is donated to charity too). Overall, this means to give a charity £240 in a year would only cost a higher rate taxpayer £144 and an additional rate taxpayer just £132.

    The solid chink when you pop a few pennies in the charity bucket still provides well-needed donations. However, if you're planning to do your bit, taking advantage of these tax benefits should turn that solid chink into a solid chunk of cash.

    The Charities Aid Foundation told us that if you're a higher rate taxpayer, you have to claim the difference through self-assessment. The easiest way to donate in this case is through the Give As Your Earn scheme where the benefit goes through automatically.

    The Charities Aid Foundation takes an admin fee, a contribution to its charitable mission and a contribution to its founder the National Council for Voluntary Organisations - this is 4% in total.

  • If you've got a charity credit card, ditch it now. Most charity credit cards donate to the charity at a rate of only 0.25%. That means if you spend £100 on the card, the charity you're helping only gets 25p. Spend £16,000 a year on the card, and the charity only gets £40.

    But get a top cashback card, and you can earn an introductory 5% cashback for three months to a maximum of £100, and up to 1.25% ongoing cashback - five times what your charity card's paying.

    Full info and top pick cards in our Ditch Charity Credit Cards guide.

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