Gransnet forums


How do you choose

(62 Posts)
Oldwoman70 Thu 10-Sep-20 08:51:45

All charities are strapped for cash these days so how do you choose which ones to support?

I have a couple of charities I donate to regularly but every day there is a item on local radio from local charities needing help - this morning there were two. I find their appeals heart rending but I can't support them all - so how do you choose?

NotSpaghetti Thu 10-Sep-20 09:13:50

I would usually check out the percentage going directly to the cause I support. I read their info at the Charity Commission. I look back and see what they have done in the past, and I might look at

If I was in the USA I’d definitely look at the Charity Navigator.

And sometimes I just give regardless!

kittylester Thu 10-Sep-20 09:19:06

Headway was brilliant when DS1 needed them so they are my first choice.

Alzheimer's Society do great things and are definitely in need now. I volunteer with them and used to help at events before lockdown. So, they would be another choice.

But, I know that our local children's hospice missed out on our village cancelled open gardens.

So, I agree - it is difficult.

DotMH1901 Thu 10-Sep-20 09:33:57

I rarely donate to big charities - so much of their money goes on paying huge salaries to their Chair and other senior managers. My friend has been involved for decades with a village in Gambia and goes out there teaching during the Summer holidays - she collects clothing and books and equipment etc so I donate to her as I know 100% of what is given gets to the children and adults who need it. The village now has its own school which is well equipped, has a football team and is now a training centre for new teachers to study at.

Charleygirl5 Thu 10-Sep-20 09:34:52

For me it is more local, London air ambulance service, Battersea Dogs Home and the local Cat Protection League.

I do not give much to The Macular Society- they have so many staff on high salaries and every week I receive a begging letter which puts me off.

Pollyj Thu 10-Sep-20 09:36:08

I think it try and see what they do with the funds and what’s close to your heart. I give to ‘The Lucy Irvine Foundation’ (Castaway Lucy if anyone remembers her) because of its personal flavour. She shows it all on Facebook, and you can follow the work. (I really funded fodder for the winter and could see the photos of its arrival etc.) No CEOs or big buildings. On the ground, visible help.

Pollyj Thu 10-Sep-20 09:37:46


I think it try and see what they do with the funds and what’s close to your heart. I give to ‘The Lucy Irvine Foundation’ (Castaway Lucy if anyone remembers her) because of its personal flavour. She shows it all on Facebook, and you can follow the work. (I really funded fodder for the winter and could see the photos of its arrival etc.) No CEOs or big buildings. On the ground, visible help.

Typos. Sigh. I try to find what they do...’ and I recently funded...’

Greeneyedgirl Thu 10-Sep-20 09:41:13

It’s a very personal choice isn’t it? Not all big charities waste money, in fact some are very effective in their work. I like MSF but don’t give money to religious charities that proselytise.

Illte Thu 10-Sep-20 09:43:43

I stopped donating to big Charities because of the massive salaries of Executives. Its a shame because the actual workers like Marie Curie nurses are wonderful.

I volunteered in fund raising for Sue Ryder but the new Area Fund Raiser didn't want the little fund raisers like Coffee Mornings just big sponsored events so I gave that up.

Just lately I've taken yo looking at sites like GoFundMe and donating to individuals.

I always thought if I was rich I'd have a fund that just helped tide people over a bumpy patch. There have been times in my life when £50 would have made all the difference!

Esspee Thu 10-Sep-20 09:48:06

When my husband was dying the hospice took him in for things like blood transfusions and the odd overnight stay. They were wonderful so any donations go to them.

BusterTank Thu 10-Sep-20 09:50:20

You have to choose what's close to you and your families heart . I chose help the heroes because my husband is ex forces . Don't feel pressured into giving and only give what you can afford .

Juicylucy Thu 10-Sep-20 09:51:06

I donate to 2 small charities each year one animal and one children then I change to another 2 the next year,

TwiceAsNice Thu 10-Sep-20 09:57:25

I do a small monthly DD to the hospital in Wales that treated my son when he had Leukaemia. The money goes to buy treats for the children whilst they are in isolation in hospital, they need brand new toys and books to stop infection risk.

I’m also supporting a child in Africa through school and will continue to sponsor her thorough university . I get news about her a couple of time’s a year which is nice

Spec1alk Thu 10-Sep-20 10:01:42

I support our local hospice and local blood bikers.

Riggie Thu 10-Sep-20 10:01:52

It is hard. I usually stick to ones that have relevance to us as a family (disabled relative) for my main donations. I might put a few coins in a tin or buy a raffle ticket for others but thats all. I'm certainly not going to be pressured into changing loyalties bu the local do gooders.

I used to get cross at work. They were quite strict on what they would allow or not - mostly not. Two people were allowed to do things for their oet charities one did a macmillan coffee morning every year, the other did a donations instead of christmas card thing - no one else could even sell a raffle ticket. I did ask one year why other charities couldnt be supported maybe taking it in turns each year but I wasn't popular!!

My mantra is your pet charity is not my pet charity!!

EEJit Thu 10-Sep-20 10:09:49

I only donate to charities where I can see results, consequently I sponsor a guide dog for the blind, 2 hearing dogs for the deaf, the RNLI, and the local air ambulance.

Alegrias Thu 10-Sep-20 10:21:57

Its a very personal thing, isn't it? I give to a charity that my family have been involved with one way or another for nearly 70 years - both giving and receiving help. I also tend to donate to emergency requests such as natural disasters, as I think that they need help quickly.

I don't necessarily avoid charities who employ well paid executives and professional fundraisers. If by doing that they raise more money and use it effectively, then that's OK by me. I'd rather a charity used 90% of £100,000 than 100% of £10,000.

But as I say, very personal choice.

pen50 Thu 10-Sep-20 10:31:46

Don't give to charities that spend too much on executive salaries, but don't give to charities that don't spend enough on admin either. A charity that goes bust because it didn't organise itself properly is worse than a spendthrift charity that at least does something.

Bijou Thu 10-Sep-20 10:32:43

I donate to my local hospice. I may need them one day. Also to Children’s Air Ambulance and the RNLI. Have personally witnessed a rescue by the latter.

Purplepixie Thu 10-Sep-20 10:33:07

Just choose a one and stick with it. There are so many that we cannot pay into them all.

BlueSky Thu 10-Sep-20 10:39:11

When we were working we used to donate to a couple of national children's charities. Now we are on a limited income we just give to a local children's cancer charity, plus any clothes, household items etc to the various high street charity shops.

Nannapat1 Thu 10-Sep-20 10:45:10

I give to a number of charities, modest amounts by DD, some animal, all chosen for personal reasons. I give one off donations occasionally to a couple of others. I don't like being approached as I try to enter the supermarket or at my front door really, other than the Poppy Appeal and RNLI.

Lolo81 Thu 10-Sep-20 10:55:07

Echoing others, I generally donate to local charities - the only exception to this is the Poppy Appeal, although I generally donate via a local veterans hospital. Like others I prefer my donation to be used for purpose rather than an executive salary.

NemosMum Thu 10-Sep-20 11:13:37

I prefer small local charities. The big ones are huge businesses and pay massive salaries to directors. They also haven't covered themselves in glory over the past few years with sexual abuse scandals etc. I like to see where the money is going!

Romola Thu 10-Sep-20 11:16:30

I have a bit of a scattergun approach to this. I give relatively small but regular donations to about half a dozen charities, some big, some small local charities.
What about Gift Aid? I do it for those charities that help people in need, but not for the cultural charity which I also support. After all, the government (awful as this one is) does need our taxes!