Make Christmas Charity Giving Count

There are more ways than ever to give to charity this year, but have you ever stopped to wonder how much of your cash will actually reach the good cause you’ve chosen to support?  In some cases it could be very little.  Here’s a few ways to make your festive giving go further.

Christmas Charity Card sellers

Buying direct from a Christmas charity card seller can ensure more money goes to your chosen good cause than buying from your usual high street retailer. Cards for Good Causes pass on at least 70% of the purchase price to the charity they are selling for minus the VAT on the part they keep for themselves.  They have pop up shops around the country in December and also sell online at cards for

Supermarket charity cards

If you buy your charity cards from a supermarket as little as 7% of the purchase price may go to charity – as little as 20p from a pack price of £3.00.  Some retailers are more generous with Waitrose and John Lewis giving between 10 and 25% whereas others such as Tesco donate a flat fee to the charity which may not be directly related to sales of the cards.

Gift Aid

If you choose to make a donation to your charity and you are a UK taxpayer, you can give even more by ticking the ‘Gift Aid’ box on your donation.  By doing this and giving your name and address the charity can claim an extra 25% on your donation.

You can only donate via Gift Aid if you’ve paid as much tax in the year as the charities can reclaim in Gift Aid.  This can be income tax paid on your salary, earnings or savings or capital gains tax.

If you pay 40% tax or above, you can re-claim the extra tax (the difference between the rate you paid and the basic rate) through your Self Assessment form or by asking HM Revenue & Customs to adjust your tax code.

Charity Credit Cards

A number of charities offer credit cards (mainly through the Co-operative bank) which pay the charity a fee when you take them out and percentage of what you spend. Typically this can amount to £15 initially but then only around 25p for every £100 you spend.


Donating your time can be a hugely rewarding way to give something back to the charity of your choice.  The charity for single homeless people Crisis are always looking for volunteers to help out at their Christmas lunches and other charities are also looking for extra help to run their shops and care centres.  Try or for opportunities in your local area.

Finally, if you want to know how much of your gift will actually be spent on the charitable activities you expect, take a look at the website which uses information from the Charity Commission to calculate the percentage spent on core activities, fundraising, governance and administration.

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