Ten Ways to Improve Your Charitable Giving in 2022
Randi Weaver – Good Giving Planner
Whether it is a New Year’s resolution, a determination to start 2022 demonstrating community spirit or a desire to maximise tax efficiency prior to the tax year-end in April, people often give more thought to their charitable giving in January. Here are 10 tips to improve your giving experience in 2022:
1. Use Gift Aid
If not already part of your charitable giving efforts, vow to understand and make use of Gift Aid. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has estimated that £750 million of potential Gift Aid income goes unclaimed every year.
If you are a UK taxpayer, donating through Gift Aid means charities and community amateur sports clubs can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. The only stipulation is that you need to make sure that you have paid the amount of tax that the charity will claim back.
Higher rate taxpayers will reap additional rewards: If you pay tax at the higher rate of 40% or above, you can claim back the difference between the higher and basic rate on the value of your donation.
2. Payroll Giving
As with Gift Aid, pledge to understand this giving tool and to formalise all or part of your giving by using Payroll Giving if you can. You can use Payroll Giving if:
- you are an employee and you get paid weekly or monthly through PAYE
- you get a company and/or personal pension and your provider deducts tax through PAYE
Payroll Giving allows you to make donations to charity directly from your pay or company/personal pension. The donations are made after your National Insurance contributions are calculated but before Income Tax is worked out and deducted. Because of this, you only pay tax on what is left. This means that you get tax relief on your donation immediately – and at your highest rate of tax.
3. Set a charitable giving budget
Charitable donations deserve a place in your personal budget. Many people donate around Christmas or in response to disasters on a large scale. In 2022, be in the driving seat: Set a giving budget and pledge to donate the full amount over the course of the year.
4. Be a proactive rather than reactive giver
Having a charitable giving budget will help you become more of a proactive donor, seeking out good causes to support. Ask yourself which cause areas and/or geographies most interest you and set about identifying worthy recipients.
5. Know the beneficiary. Understand their work. Ensure they are legitimate.
Not all charities are created equal. To mitigate both financial and reputational risk, learn something about your intended recipient and their track record.
6. Give more to fewer charities
Working within your set budget, you can potentially maximise your impact by giving more to fewer charities.
7. Select one project in your local community
Why not make 2022 a year to “think global, but act local”? Try not to overlook the financial needs of charities working in your own community in favour of large national or international charities exclusively. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn about all the good work going on in your neighbourhood and how you can support it.
8. Engage more fully
When supporting only one, or a smaller number of charities than usual, it is easier to follow their progress by focusing on the promotional material received or browsing their website monthly. Increased knowledge can lead to increased donor satisfaction as you are more aware of how your donation is being spent, and the progress made because of it.
9. Come off mailing lists of causes you no longer support
Help yourself and the marketing department of a charity or two by unsubscribing to regular mailings, be they hardcopy or electronic versions, if the cause is one you supported only as a one-off or one you have moved on from. You will start the year less bogged down by information overload and the charities will benefit by tidying up their database and in the case of hardcopy mailings, save money by reducing printing and postage costs.
10. Join (or Form) a Giving Circle
“Socialise” your giving by joining with like-minded donors to support causes of mutual interest.
A Giving Circle is a group of people who come together to collectively donate money and time. There is usually social or educational interaction associated with the giving, which Circle members judge to be integral to the process and the overall success of the Circle. The structure can be informal or formal and membership can range from a few participants to several hundred.
Ring in the changes in your approach to giving in 2022 and increase both your donating efficiency and level of personal satisfaction.
As always, if you’d like to start a conversation about your charitable and good-giving plans, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.