MoneySavingExpert charity fund

MoneySavingExpert charity fund

Grant-giving to grassroots groups and more

If you want to empower consumers, put money in their pocket. This site is dedicated to doing just that... but our charity fund does it even more directly. With over £2.2 million donated so far, it's MoneySavingExpert's way of giving back to users.

The money we raise currently goes to support the MSE Charity, which gives grants of up to £7,500 to groups that provide education, information and support to help people learn how to manage their money better.

But that's not all – we also make one-off donations and, in the past, have donated part of our fund to a range of charities nominated by you, MSE users.

The MSE Charity is separate from MSE founder Martin Lewis's charitable fund. For full info on that, see his blog:

And for more information on MoneySavingExpert, see: 

What is the MSE Charity?

Launched in May 2008, the MSE Charity (registered charity number 1121320) is dedicated to helping people help themselves, by funding activities that make a lasting impact on how people think, behave, and manage their money.

Rather than engaging in any projects itself, the charity offers grants of up to £7,500 to support non-profit organisations, such as social enterprises or registered charities, with specific money education projects. Help is given to a range of projects, from small grassroots groups to more mainstream charities, with the maximum annual income level for an organisation set at £750,000.

The MSE Charity has two themed grant-giving rounds a year and four themes that rotate through a two-year cycle. Its themes include building and developing resilience, life-changing transitions, and living with long-term challenges.

Its latest grant round, themed on raising the next generation, closed at 3pm on Monday 16 January, with the recipients of grants due to be announced in March. Then, the next round is set to open on 4 September 2023.

For more info on the MSE Charity's last round of donations, see grant recipients below.

And to find out more about applying for a grant, see the MSE Charity website.

MSE founder Martin Lewis on the MSE Charity's history...

The MSE Charity is now over 10 years old. It was my first foray into the third sector and I've learned much. The MSE Charity is still very much the site's baby, a passion play that allows us to help far more than those who just use the site. It enables us to put money into small projects that may otherwise get ignored, but can have a huge impact on people's lives. Its focus remains on educating people on how to deal with their money and to tackle financial illiteracy.

In the early days MSE and I were the same thing. Now the site has its own independent life, alongside me, which is why I'm delighted it continues to fund the MSE Charity. It was the MSE Charity that educated me into what a privilege having money and being able to put it where it is needed really is. Without it I'm not sure I'd have had the confidence to set up the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute and the other work I do. Thanks MSE Charity.

See more on Martin's personal charity fund work, including his own donations to the MSE Charity, which are separate from MSE's.

Where does the MSE Charity's money come from?

The cash is generated from two sources:

  • An annual donation from this site. A donation of over £235,000 was made to launch the charity, and substantial donations have continued to be made each year.

    All this cash – less some small administrative costs – goes directly to the grant fund. Martin makes a separate personal donation to cover the majority of the running costs of the charity.

    Martin also put money into the Martin Lewis Charitable Fund when MoneySavingExpert joined the MoneySupermarket Group – for more information on this, see Martin's blog.
  • Donations from well-wishers. Anyone who wants to support the charity is more than welcome; for the many who have said they'd like to donate to MoneySavingExpert as it's saved them money, please donate to the charity instead.

How can I make a donation to the MSE Charity?

You can donate online through the MSE Charity's PayPal Giving Fund page or through its Bacs donation form. To donate by post, contact its treasurer Tony Tesciuba, at Tesciuba Ltd, 72 Cavendish Road, Salford, M7 4WA, and if your donation is eligible for Gift Aid, please complete its Gift Aid declaration form.

Who's recently been given an MSE Charity grant?

The MSE Charity awarded an average grant of about £6,250 to eight worthy organisations in its last round of donations.

Its June 2022 grant-giving was themed on 'developing resilience', and focused on groups that provide urgent money guidance and emergency debt help.

The groups benefited from a total of just under £50,000, allowing them to teach vital financial life skills to people who are struggling with their finances.

  • The eight organisations to receive grants

    • Age Well East is an independent charity based in Colchester in Essex, which helps people in their later years (60+). Its community services include welfare advice and information, emotional support, and bereavement services.

      The grant funding will support its welfare and advice service to help about 60 vulnerable people and their carers. The project will provide one-to-one budgeting guidance to teach clients to manage on limited incomes, strained budgets and increasing financial hardships.

    • CARE (Christian Action Resource Enterprise) supports families and individuals in North East Lincolnshire. It's a charity dedicated to relieving homelessness, poverty and distress to those most in need.

      The MSE Charity grant will enable CARE to provide one-to-one urgent money guidance and support to approximately 100 people in crisis. It will help them gain access to appropriate benefits, provide support with energy debt and rent arrears, and advocate for them at welfare benefit tribunals.

    • Citizens Advice Gosport will receive funding to enable it to deliver an emergency money advice and income-boosting project for six months, supporting 60 households in Hampshire.

      It will provide financial management advice, helping clients to identify priority and non-priority demands on their finances and to budget accordingly.

    • Citizens Advice Rossendale and Hyndburn will use its grant to deliver crisis debt and advocacy support and financial capability training to about 88 beneficiaries in Lancashire, who are experiencing debt and money management issues.

    • The Goldhill Adventure Playground is a registered charity which provides play, learning and social opportunities for families, children and young people in Leicester.

      Its project will provide urgent money guidance and debt support to 125 families. This will include 10 weekly drop-in guidance sessions and six one-hour financial capability workshops for families.

    • Sanctus is a registered charity supporting homeless and vulnerable people in Chelmsford, Essex, and the surrounding areas. Its centre, open seven days a week, 365 days a year, provides a place where individuals, with various complex needs, can receive food and positive support.

      Its cost-of-living support scheme will help around 190 people who are disproportionately affected by the cost-of-living crisis and who are struggling with debt and managing their money. It'll help with debt management, household budgeting, and sourcing and applying for energy funds for those who have inherited debt on moving into a property.

    • Wave Community Bank is a credit union offering savings, loans and basic bank accounts to over 9,000 members who live or work in Brighton & Hove and other parts of East Sussex, plus Medway and elsewhere in Kent. Operating for over 20 years, it works hard to promote financial inclusion and money management, to provide budgeting support, and to raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks.

      MSE Charity funding will allow the bank to open and staff three weekly community-help points, in Lewes, Newhaven and Eastbourne. The help-points will be staffed by a community advocate who can assist people in accessing its financial services as well as offering urgent budgeting and money management advice. It anticipates helping 500 people over the year.

    • WHIST (Women's Health in South Tyneside) is a registered charity which has been supporting women for over 35 years.

      The grant will fund its weekly Tuesday drop-in project, which will allow 150 women to receive advice on urgent issues including debt, domestic violence, benefit entitlement and housing. Its support programme will include money matters courses, eating well sessions (looking at low-cost and nutritious food), clothing swaps and tips for reducing fuel bills.

Visit the MSE Charity website or discuss it in the MSE Forum.

What other donations has MSE made?

Not only has MoneySavingExpert donated towards the MSE Charity's work, over the years we have also gifted cash to charities nominated by MSE users, and made a string of one-off donations, totalling more than £700,000.

The nominated charities include:

While many of MSE's donations have gone towards helping improve people's financial skills, we've also made a number of one-off donations to high-profile fundraising events and a range of charities large and small, including:

  • Children in Need
  • Comic Relief
  • Red Cross
  • Unicef
  • Various charities following natural disasters such as the Myanmar cyclone in 2008, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004

How much has MSE donated over the years?

Here's the MSE donation history since the site launched in February 2003.

This money comes directly from the site, and doesn't include any donations made by private individuals to the MSE Charity. If you're asking: "How does a free site with no ads make these donations?", read our How this site is financed guide.

Donations between 1 Sep 2019 and 31 Dec 2022


  • Full info

    to the MSE Charity

    Plus one-off donations...

    • Tetanus vaccines to Unicef – Dec 2019

      A donation of £1,800 was given to Unicef to provide tetanus vaccines for 18,000 children.

    • Tetanus vaccines to Unicef – Dec 2020
      A donation of £2,000 was given to Unicef to provide tetanus vaccines for 20,000 children.

    • Covid-19 donation to the World Health Organisation (WHO– Dec 2021
      We gave £2,000 to the WHO to help prevent and treat Covid-19 around the world.

    • Emergency support to the Red Cross – Dec 2022
      We gave £2,000 to the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal to help those displaced by the war.

Donations between 22 Jul 2008 and 31 Aug 2019


  • Full info

    to the MSE Charity

    Main charities – £319,585 to nominated charities

    Re-Cycle received 20% (£63,917

    Help for Heroes received 20% (£63,917)

    ShelterBox received 20% (£63,917

    CAP UK received 20% (£63,917

    Samaritans received 20% (£63,917

    Plus one-off donations...

    • Start of charity fund donation

      £200 each to St Giles Trust, iT4Communities, Foal Farm, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Citizens Advice, NCH (now Action for Children), £100 to Sightsavers International (total: £1,300).

    • Comic Relief – Mar 2009

      To celebrate Comic Relief 2009, 50p was donated per new recipient of the weekly email for a specified period, meaning a £10,000 donation (once rounded to the nearest £1,000).

    • Haiti Earthquake Appeal – Feb 2010

      To help the Disasters Emergency Committee Haiti Earthquake Appeal, 50p was donated per new recipient of the weekly email for a specified period, meaning a £15,322 donation.

    • Gift of Sight (Sightsavers) – Dec 2010

      A donation of £1,705 was given to Sightsavers for the Gift of Sight for 100 people.

    • Financial Education – Jun 2011

      Donation of £35,000 to the All Party Parliamentary Group supporting financial education in schools. See Martin's blog.

    • Gift of Sight (Sightsavers) – Dec 2011

      A donation of £1,705 was given to Sightsavers for the Gift of Sight for 100 people.

    • Polio vaccines to Unicef – Dec 2012

      A donation of £1,150 was given to Unicef for 10,000 polio vaccines.

    • Comic Relief – Mar 2013

      To celebrate Comic Relief 2013, £1 was given for every new member of our Cheap Energy Club for a specified period, meaning a donation of £22,000 once rounded to the nearest £1,000.

    • Tetanus vaccines to Unicef – Dec 2013

      A donation of £1,375 was given to Unicef for 30,000 tetanus vaccines.

    • Polio vaccines to Unicef – Dec 2014

      A donation of £1,650 was given to Unicef for 15,000 polio vaccines.

    • Red Cross – Sep 2015

      To help the Europe refugee crisis, 50p was donated per new recipient of the weekly email for a specified period, which we rounded up to make a £6,000 donation.

    • Tetanus vaccines to Unicef – Dec 2015
      A donation of £2,040 was given to Unicef for 40,000 tetanus vaccines.

    • UK Athletics – Feb 2016
      A donation of £325 was made.

    • Unicef – Jan 2018
      A donation of £2,001 was made.

    • Unicef – Dec 2018
      A donation of £2,000 was made to pay for health checks for 800 Syrian children.

Donations between 1 Sep 2006 and 21 Jul 2008


  • Full info

                                                            to the MSE Charity

    Main charities – £111,918 to nominated charities

    Cancer Research UK received 20% (£22,383)

    Re-Cycle received 20% (£22,383)

    Tools for Self Reliance received 20% (£22,383)

    Different Strokes received 20% (£22,383)

    Usable Websites received 20% (£22,383)

    Plus one-off donations...

    • Festive donation

      £3,000 went to Children in Crisis as part of this site's Christmas festive donation.

    • Children in Need

      In the run-up to Children in Need 2007, 50p was donated per new recipient of the weekly email for a specified period, meaning an overall donation of £8,200.

    • Comic Relief

      To celebrate Comic Relief, 50p was donated per new recipient of the weekly email in the run-up, meaning a £7,700 donation.

    • Myanmar Cyclone Appeal

      A total of £7,500 was donated as part of the '50p donation for every new recipient of the weekly email' appeal.

    • Charities Aid Foundation

      £1,100 was given to this charity, which provides low-cost banking, financial and training services to other charities.

    • Govan Law Centre

      Received two donations, £9,000 and £1,000, for providing legal support to the bank charges campaign.

    • National Eczema Society

      Received a donation of £50.

    • JustGiving – cimaracing

      Received a donation of £100.

    • Oxfam

      Received a donation of £500.

Donations between 25 Jun 2005 and 31 Aug 2006


  • Full info

    Main charities – £78,248 to nominated charities

    Samaritans received 26% (£20,344.59)

    Re-Cycle received 22% (£17,214.65)

    Send a Cow (now Ripple Effect) received 20% (£15,649.68)

    CAP Debt Counselling received 18% (£14,084.72)

    WaterAid received 14% (£10,954.78)

    Plus one-off donations...

    • South-East Asian Earthquake Appeal – 19 Oct 2005

      A total of £2,000 was donated as part of the '50p donation for every new recipient of the weekly email' drive.

    • World Vision – A MoneySavers' Well – 20 Dec 2005

      £2,000 was donated via World Vision to build a well in a desolate part of Africa, providing clean water for 10 villages.

    • World Vision – Solar Panels for Senegal – 28 Feb 2006

      A total of £5,000 was donated as part of the '50p donation for every new recipient of the weekly email' drive to fit solar panels for a health clinic in Senegal. So many people signed up that cash was spare to fund health centre equipment, sewing machines, school toys and classroom equipment.

Donations between 12 May 2004 and 24 Jun 2005


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