UK charities rely on donations from members of the public, which can be supplemented by the Gift Aid scheme set up by the government that effectively gives an extra 25% to charities when UK taxpayers make a donation. There are a number of different ways in which you can donate to charity:
- through a direct debit (even a small amount helps, and donating in this way gives the charity an idea of how much it can expect to receive during the coming year),
- a one-off donation following an appeal,
- shopping at a charity shop,
- buying charity gifts,
- leaving a legacy (a gift) to a charity through your Will (this can be advantageous in tax planning, too).
Many individuals and organisations also choose to hold fundraising events or raise money for charity by undertaking personal challenges or meeting personal goals.
For example, popular fundraising ideas include:
- Stopping smoking (and asking friends and colleagues for a donation at the end of a specific period, such as after three months);
- Losing weight (and asking for a donation per pound or when the goal weight is achieved);
- Overcoming a fear (for example of heights, by doing something dramatic like skydiving or bungee jumping).
These types of fundraising events are always sure to receive support because the people who give money know the fundraiser and want to support their goals. But if you are wondering how to fundraise on a wider scale or on a longer term, you could consider holding a few different events through the year in support of a particular charitable project.
For instance the RSPCA Choices site gives details of several specific projects across the range of different types of work undertaken by the charity. There are, for example, projects that aim to provide veterinary treatment for animals, or that seek to pay to employ and train Inspectors (that particular project is called the Everyday Heroes campaign), pay to take cases of animal neglect and abuse to court or to take care of local wildlife.
The site allows you to select a project and then create your own webpage to promote your fundraising event. This is easy to do – you just need to fill in a few details such as your name, the date and details of your chosen event/events and why you have chosen that particular project to support. You can then share your page online through your preferred social networking sites and ask people to donate to the project by supporting your event.
For ideas on how to fundraise other than through personal challenges, try some of these:
- A sponsored walk (perhaps undertake a local challenge – for example the Three Peaks Walk if you live in the North);
- A charity raffle (this could be held at your local church, or with the support of your local school);
- A craft fair;
- A bun and cake sale;
- A charity car wash.
Once you have raised money you can donate it to your chosen project. You will receive regular updates on how far your project is progressing towards its target and you can hold further events as and when you have time.