Thinking Of Giving To Charities This Christmas? Read On…

A few years ago it became very popular, especially amongst the middle classes, to give one another charity gifts instead of traditional gifts at Christmas. Those charity gifts included things like goats or school funding for people and children living in poor countries where such things would mean a great deal.
It is still possible to give charity gifts to friends and family at Christmas and the way it generally works is this: you pay a set amount of money (say, £25) to the charity of your choice, which will then write back with details of what that money has bought (e.g. a cow for African farmers); you give that information in a gift card to the ‘recipient’ of the gift.
This was most popular prior to the recession, when many people had sufficient disposable income to be able to buy themselves whatever they needed, so Christmas gifts for adults had become rather superfluous and trivial: buying gifts that would benefit charities became a nice way of showing that you had thought about someone without buying them something they didn’t want.
Charity gifts have become less popular in these times of recession (gifts to charities have fallen full stop) but if you are interested in buying a charity gift for a friend then check the small print to make sure that your money will end up where you would want it to. Some charities receive less than 10% of the cost of the gift, and some stores give more generously to the charity than others. The same applies if you are buying charity Christmas cards.
There are other ways of giving to charities that don’t involve official charity gifts. You could, for example, ask staff at your work to agree to put £5 each into a kitty to be donated to charity instead of all doing the ‘secret Santa’ gift-giving as is traditional in many offices. You could set up a direct debit to pay to a charity of your choice and do so on behalf of a family member or friend – tell them you have done so in their card.
You could always volunteer to help with Christmas events for your local charity to raise funds: check out the websites of your local charities or national charities such as the RSPCA for details of volunteering vacancies and see if you can help.
If you do give to a charity, whether you are giving a charity gift or a simple donation, remember to tick the box that declares that you are a UK tax payer so that the charity can take advantage of the Gift Aid credit from the government.
This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).