MoneySavingExpert Charity Fund

Grant-giving to grassroots groups

MoneySavingExpert Charity Fund

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 nearly £2 million donated so far, it's'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 – in the past we've donated part of our fund to a range of charities nominated by you, MSE users, as well as making a series of one-off donations.

In this guide

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.

The charity is currently a grant-giving body, rather than engaging in any projects itself, though it's hoped in time this will change.

Grants are available of up to £7,500 to support any non-profit group, such as a social enterprise or a registered charity, with specific money projects. Help is given to a range of projects, from small grassroots groups to larger mainstream charities, with the maximum annual income level for a group set at £500,000. 

Update: The MSE Charity's September grant-giving round has now closed. The round's theme was 'life-changing transitions'. Grants of up to £7,500 were available for non-profit organisations that teach money skills to people who are going through challenging life-changing circumstances, such as bereavement, homelessness or imprisonment. Check back in December to see which organisations have gained funding in the September round.

The MSE Charity has two themed rounds a year and four themes that rotate through a two-year cycle. To find out more about the organisations that benefited from its February 2019 grant-giving round, see below.

Martin 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 learnt 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 the MSE Charity.

Where does the MSE Charity 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. This includes all of Martin's proceeds from the Thrifty Ways and Three Lessons books.

All this cash – less some small administrative costs – goes directly to the grant fund. The cost of the day-to-day operation of the charity is met by a separate personal donation from Martin.

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.

You can donate online through our PayPal Giving Fund page or through our BACS donation form. To donate by post, contact our treasurer Tony Tesciuba, at Tesciuba Ltd, 13 Police Street, Manchester, M2 7LQ, and if your donation is eligible for Gift Aid, please complete our Gift Aid declaration form.

Who's the latest to benefit from MSE Charity grants?

Another 10 projects that aim to improve the lives of people across the country can now get under way, following the MSE Charity's February 2019 grant-giving round. 

It was themed on 'raising the next generation' and saw a total of just under £49,000 pledged to a range of different projects that aim to improve people's relationship with money.

    • Citizens Advice Arun & Chichester – it will employ a financial capability worker for one day a week, to carry out a programme of 18 workshops for 48 survivors of domestic abuse.

    • The Community Bureau – this Scottish charity will deliver a 'Skills for Living' project to eight young people with learning difficulties, with financial skills workshops and later the opportunity to volunteer.

    • Community Stuff – a community interest company based in Eastbourne, East Sussex, which will deliver a hands-on 'Spend Less, Eat Well' course, teaching 16 young mums how to manage their money better as well as organisational and practical cookery skills, using resources including MSE.

    • Newbigin Community Trust – a registered charity based in Birmingham, which will use the grant to employ someone 10 hours a week to carry out a number of activities, including running financial education workshops for 25 young people and providing banking and benefit support for vulnerable families where English is a second language.

    • North Bristol Advice Centre – this independent charity has delivered services in deprived areas in north Bristol and south Gloucestershire for over 30 years, aiming to promote social justice and combat poverty. It will run a 'Money Smart' course for 60 people aged 15-18.

    • Oasis Hub Mayfield – based in Southampton and established in 2008 by the international charity Oasis, this community hub will deliver a money course to 20 parents, as part of a new family support programme.

    • Speaking Out – a registered community interest company that operates across Birmingham and the Black Country. It will use its grant to engage and support 30 people aged 16-18 who live in homeless hostels, with one-to-one tuition and weekly group sessions to teach basic budgeting skills and numeracy. The project will focus on developing an appreciation of the value and importance of money as a key way of reintegration into society.

    • St Andrew's Community Network – a registered charity that supports vulnerable people in Liverpool. Its grant will go towards training 10 new volunteer money advocates and running money courses, including on universal credit, to 164 adults over the year, as well as a course for 120 young people in year 12.

    • Surviving Economic Abuse – a national charity that raises awareness of economic abuse in the context of domestic abuse. Its project will increase young people's knowledge and understanding of managing their personal finances and the economic aspect of relationships, with a view to preventing people from becoming sufferers of domestic abuse.

    • Warm Hut UK – this registered charity will provide face-to-face drop-in debt and money advice services for refugees and migrants, as well as workshops and a community personal-finance outreach programme.

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 Burma cyclone in 2008, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004

How much has been donated over the years?

Here's the MSE donation history since the site launched in February 2003 up until September 2019.

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 22 Jul 2008 and 1 Sep 2019


  •        £966,592
    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, £100 to Sightsavers International.

    • Comic Relief – Mar 2009

      To celebrate Comic Relief 2009, 50p was donated per new recipient of the weekly email, 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, 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


  •                                                                 £254,016
                                                            to the MSE Charity

    Main charities – £111,918 to nominated charities

    Cancer Research 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, 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.

    • Burma 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


  • Main charities – £78,248 to nominated charities

    Samaritans received 26% (£20,344.59)

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

    Send-a-cow 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