Donors confront a large and diverse sector: from big name charities to smaller specialist organisations, there are 180,000 to choose from. Latest research indicates that levels of giving have fallen over the past few years, and with changes to statutory funding, charities face tough competition for increasingly scarce funds. In this context, making sure your giving is informed and makes the greatest possible difference to the causes you care about is particularly important.
This booklet is designed to provide practical advice for first-time and experienced donors alike—from choosing a cause, to identifying charities operating in your area of interest and evaluating their success. We also help you to consider how long to fund a charity for, and ways to ease the transition when you decide to withdraw your support. The final section answers questions about becoming a charity trustee and setting up a charitable trust for those looking for more hands-on engagement. We also seek to address some of the thornier issues such as administration costs and giving during a recession.
For us, the decision about whether or not to support a charity should be based above all on its impact. Our recent research, Money for good UK, showed that donors do care about the impact of the charities they support – 60% said this was very important to them. However, we also know that donors sometimes struggle to find the information they need to assess charities on this basis; only 2% choose between different charities based on information about their impact.
Giving enables us to support causes that reflect our passions and priorities, and for this reason it is extremely rewarding. We hope these Q&As help more people take the next step on their giving journey—but if you have questions that still need answering, please do not hesitate to get in touch.