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Update on charitable giving; specially for British taxpayers
passion
bohemiancoast
As far as I can tell, the only UK charity accepting Katrina donations with Gift Aid is the Salvation Army. I am sure the Salvation Army do great work, but I really don't think they want my grubby heathen money. Any of you Christian taxpayers out there; for every 78p you donate they'll get a quid. So I'll wait a few days and see if other charities work out that this is a good idea. Meanwhile I seem to be donating money in dribs and drabs; to the much-linked underwear fund, for bits and pieces of stuff where the proceeds are going to hurricane relief, and so on. It feels a bit inadequate, and I also feel tugged by purpletigron's call to donate money to really poor places. If you do too, then Givenow.org, the Charities Aid Foundation's version of the commercial Justgiving.com, has got some matching funds for a few worthy causes, so your 78p can be worth as much as £1.19 to the charity. Which is pretty neat. (CAF also do the fabulous Good Gifts catalogue; which is the one that led to reverendjim being given a variety of goats last Christmas, or so I understand.)

More suggestions welcome.

Update: smofbabe has pointed me at ShelterBox, a Rotary-organised scheme to pack complete survival kits (tent, sleeping bags, cooking and eating equipment, torches, water tablets & carrier) for 10 people into boxes; the advantage being that you can ship them out very quickly as soon as you know there's a need anywhere in the world, and no special co-ordination is required at the other end other than getting them into the hands of homeless families. It's a British venture (with Canadian, US and Australian offshoots) and Gift Aid ready. You can't hypothecate donations, but they do tell you where the box that you contributed to went. They're sending 1500 boxes for Katrina relief.

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Even Christians may want to think twice about giving to the Salvation Army, which is among other things actively anti-gay (to the point of pulling their charitable works out of places where they'd have to give the same-sex partners of employees benefits if they give heterosexual spouses those benefits).

1) Red Cross. There are two parts of the Red Cross, one that assists during wars (so not involved in this) and the other part is an association of local national organisations (so the US Red Cross, the UK Red Cross etc.) and unless one of those organisations (such as the US Red Cross) actually asks for funds from another country, then money given to the UK Red Cross stays with the UK organisation to distribute as they feel fit (if you give money with the specific "this must be spent in aid of Afghanistan" then they will make sure it gets out there)

2) For UK 40% tax payers and Gift Aid, if you give your 78p then the charity gets a pound AND on your tax return you can specify how much you gave and claim back the other 18p for yourself (40%-22p), so think of that and give a little extra (and I know this works because I've declared my monthly 10 quid planned giving for the last few years and I see the refund in my tax calculations)


You can donate to AmCross through an appeal running on Sky. Press the red button and the money goes via the British Red Cross.

And is that gift aided? I can't see how because of the declaration. anyway, no sky...

Alison, one solution is that I could make a donation on your behalf to a US charity and claim US tax relief, and you make a donation on my behalf to a UK one for a different cause (Oxfam or Unicef would be my favoured ones). I haven't given as much as I want to in total for this year, and Oxfam US or Unicef are who I would probably be donating to so it comes out about the same. If I do it through work, I can also get gift matching. If you want to do this, drop me a line.

Oh, that might work. I don't have gift matching but I am a higher rate taxpayer. But I still think someone will work this out -- I mean, Salvation Army did very quickly.

I give to the Salvation Army regularly because they work with people no one else will touch--at the height of the AIDS scare in the UK they were the only people to work with rent-boys (although that does not contradict redbird's statement.

Query: when you say "tax relief" do you mean you get the relief or the charity does? In the UK it's the charity.

Actually, in the UK it's both for higher-rate taxpayers. The charity gets to claim 22p for every 78p you spend (representing the basic rate tax); and you get to claim back 18p in tax relief.

Gosh, so I make chilperic make all the donations in future.

What we do in fact; my affairs are so simple that Inland Revenue has let me off tax returns, but Steven will have to complete a return this year, so he's making all the donations.

The tax relief is to the individual in the US.

There's an organization called Shelterbox that is sending tents and supplies to its sister organization in the US but is a UK registered charity: http://www.shelterbox.com/f_boxsent.html

Oh, oh! This is the best idea ever. The chap who thought of it was a ordinary Rotarian who also happened to be a naval search and rescue diver. Rather than sending shedloads of tents, shovels, etc., and having to co-ordinate in the disaster area, Shelterbox creates a one-size-fits-most box comprising a big tent, 10 sleeping bags, a stove, pans, tools, water carrier + purifying. They have them ready to go as required and then just ship out boxes. They're sending 1500 to the Gulf Coast.

Yes, we sent them some money. Thanks! Plus I've stuck a del.icio.us link up to them.

For US taxpayers, Shelter Box USA. Their on-line donation page is not secure and had an invalid certificate when I switched to https, but I think that's probably because they're a bunch of amateurs.

Hi... I've commented back and forth a little with you on zeldakitty's journal. I didn't realize you are in the UK. I've been reading this thread, and I want to say to you and everyone...

THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU

It really touches me to see people in other parts of the world discussing ways to help. It is very humbling and, well, wow. I don't know what to say, I am just so touched. Much appreciation and respect from the lovely South :)

While it's quite true that the US has resources to handle this without help -- in theory -- in practice this a a very big disaster and you need all sorts of help from everywhere. I don't have much time for the people saying 'don't give money or support to the poorest people of the world's richest country'; these people need help.

Well, that says so many good things about you... that you are able to look past the cynicism... the US has a lot of problems and our current administration becomes more and more of a colossal disappointment (to put it nicely) by the day and an even darker bruise on how the US is viewed by the rest of the world. I won't launch into politics, but I do know how the US can be perceived. Any society that neglects its young, its elderly, its poor, its ailing... well... I should just stop...

At the end of the day we are all just carbon-based life forms who are just trying to make it through...

I like knowing people who understand that :)

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