Giving to charity doesn't have to involve giving up an evening a week or a standing order – we show you how you can give for free.
We all want to do the right thing with our money; it’s just that we don’t always have the time, energy and cash to spare for charities we’d really like to support.
But what if you could give to charity without having to carve out a single second of your time or penny from your budget?
To mark Giving Tuesday, we've put together seven simple ways to do exactly that.
When you make a purchase on https://smile.amazon.co.uk/, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price (excluding VAT and shipping) to a charity of your choice, at no extra cost to you.
Originally restricted to just a handful of charities, the range has now been greatly expanded; Amazon will prompt you to select a charity when you first enter the website and you can adjust it whilst browsing.
Bear in mind that you must use the Amazon Smile website to get these donations, not the usual Amazon website, which is tricky given the two are almost identical.
One solution is to save the Amazon Smile website in your bookmarks on your web browser.
Use charity cashback
We’re increasingly familiar with cashback websites like Topcashback and Quidco, where we click links to our favourite retailers through the site, and for everything we spend, we get a percentage back.
Around Christmas, you can make a surprisingly large donation to your chosen charity just by buying those things you would have bought anyway and taking advantage of charity cashback.
Use normal cashback
There is a way to give a little more with this method: by using a normal cashback site and donating the money you make to a charity. That way you can take advantage of the fact that sometimes you get better rates of cashback from the bigger players.
No one site offers the best cashback for every single retailer, but the large players often offer more.
It simply comes down to whether you can spare the time to work out your cashback earnings, and then arrange to donate it to charity.
Use a cashback credit card
You used to be able to get a huge number of charity credit cards – offering donations to charity when you took them out, plus cashback every time you shopped.
These are thinner on the ground nowadays and, as a general rule, not terribly generous.
If you want to use a cashback credit card to give to charity, you are far better off getting a normal cashback card, and then making a donation yourself.
Of course, the normal rule applies: if you think there’s ever any risk of you paying interest on one of these cards, steer well clear, because the interest rate will quickly wipe out any cashback you receive.
Book a seat in a restaurant
ChariTable is a fundraising website, which enables you to donate money just by going to a restaurant. You just use charitablebookings.org, or the app, to make a telephone booking direct with the restaurant, and then confirm it.
That way you’ll raise £1 per diner for any one of more than 7,000 charities – at no cost to you.
Shop with a partner
Large charities will often tie up with retail partners, offering special deals when you shop with them. If there’s a charity that’s close to your heart, it’s worth checking their website for partner deals.
The RSPCA, for example, has arrangements with everyone from Laithwaites (which offers £50 off your first case plus £10 for the RSPCA), to Hoseasons (which offers 5% off your holiday plus a 5% donation to the charity too).
Search the internet
You can raise money for charity every time you search the internet thanks to charitable websites. There are a number to choose from, bur one example is EveryClick.
It’s powered by Yahoo, so will produce the same results as a Yahoo search, but for every unique search you make, the site will donate to charity.
Tick the gift aid box
There’s a decent chance that you already know that every time you donate to charity, you may be able to gift aid your donation.
This option is open to anyone who pays Income Tax in the UK, and allows the charity to claim back the tax you have paid on your charitable donation.
It can only claim the Basic Rate of tax – but if you are a Higher Rate taxpayer you can reclaim the rest through your tax return.
The amount the charity can reclaim is not to be sniffed at – it adds another 25% of value onto your donation, which can make an enormous difference.
It may also be news to you that you don’t have to donate money to qualify for gift aid – any kind of donation can count. When you donate to a charity shop, ask if they have a gift aid scheme.
In many cases, you can sign up online and receive tags to attach to your bags of donations, to enable them to easily reclaim the gift aid. Alternatively, you can sign up when you drop your bags into a shop.
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