The Giving What We Can Trust: FAQs

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To help you to support the most effective charities, Giving What We Can have set up a charitable trust in the UK. What’s more, you don’t even have to be a member to use it!

You can register on our sign-up page. Filling in the form does not commit you to giving any money to the Trust.

Why a charitable trust?

Donating to charities via the Trust has a number of benefits:

  • If you're a UK-based donor you can donate tax efficiently, including when supporting organisations based outside of the UK, such as Project Healthy Children.
  • You can set up recurring payments to support a number of our recommended charities in one go.
  • You won’t need to keep track of changes to our recommendations: If you ask us to, we can automatically change the destination of your money if our recommended charities change.
  • The Trust helps us to keep better track of the donations we inspire and the good we do, helping us to raise our profile and get new members.

How does it work?

Using the Trust couldn’t be simpler:

  • On the sign-up page, fill in your details and tick the charities which will receive your donations. You will be sent an email with your unique Giving ID, so you can sign in using this and your password.
  • Once you are signed in, you can donate by Gocardless or Paypal.
  • We process your donation, claim Gift Aid on it where applicable, and send the full amount (less transaction fees from GoCardless, Paypal and bank transfers) to the charities.
  • If you ever want to alter your charity preferences, just email us to let us know at trust@givingwhatwecan.org.

Frequently asked questions

Can I split my donations in any proportion?

Absolutely. Although the default is for donations to be split equally, we can split them in a any proportion. Just make this clear in the text box on the sign-up page or, if you forget, email us at trust@givingwhatwecan.org.

Which charities are supported?

You can support any of our currently recommended charities by donating through the main Trust form here. At present these are Against Malaria Foundation, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Deworm the World Initiative and Project Healthy Children.

You can also support:

  • GiveDirectly here
  • END Fund here
  • Sightsavers here
  • Malaria Consortium here
  • Development Media International here
  • Iodine Global Network here.
  • Innovations for Poverty Action here

How do I change my charity allocation?

If you've already set up a recurring donation through the Trust, you can change your charity allocation by emailing us at trust@givingwhatwecan.org.

How do I change my donation amount?

If using GoCardless or Paypal, you cannot alter the donation amount once you have set up a recurring donation. Therefore, you will need to cancel your current donation and set up another donation for the new amount.

For Paypal, you can cancel your donation by logging into your Paypal account. For GoCardless you can cancel your donation by either contacting your bank, or emailing us at trust@givingwhatwecan.org.

To set up your donation for the new amount, the fastest way is to use the donation link from the email you received when you first signed up to donate through the trust. Alternatively, you can sign up again here.

Can I give to the Trust if I'm not from the UK?

Yes, but the benefits will be fewer, as only UK citizens can claim tax relief on their donations. So if you live outside of the UK then the Trust is unlikely to be the best way to support Giving What We Can recommended charities. More details about tax-efficient donations to these can be found here.

Which is the best way of giving to the Trust?

We prefer donations via Gocardless as this service has a good balance between a low fee (1%, capped at £1.20) and easy administration for us. Paypal is an alternative if you want to use a card to donate, but has more expensive fees (1.4% + 20p, uncapped). Bank transfers and cheques have no fee, but they impose more administrative costs - we therefore recommend them only for large, infrequent donations.

When will my donations go to my chosen charities?

By default, we pay out every quarter. However, under certain circumstances we withhold the right to delay payments, such as where our due diligence requirements have not been met by the recipient charity.

Is the Trust a part of Giving What We Can?

No, the Trust is a separate legal entity from Giving What We Can and the Centre for Effective Altruism. The Trust was set up to complement the activities of Giving What We Can by facilitating donations to effective charities, and has so far been managed by staff at the Centre for Effective Altruism. However, donations to the Trust will never be paid to either organisation or their affiliates.

Who runs the Trust?

The current trustees are Michelle Hutchinson (Executive Director of Giving What We Can), Alison Woodman (Director of Community at Giving What We Can) and Jonathan Courtney (Director of Outreach at Giving What We Can).

What will my data be used for?

We will use your data to link it with donations to the Trust, so we can claim Gift Aid on it and direct donations to the charities of your choice. If you are a Giving What We Can member we may use it in our annual Giving Review. We may also use anonymised, aggregated data about the size of donations to our charities in our public materials. We will ask you about any further uses of your data.

Can I give to the Trust in my will?

Yes, and we will make sure that the money always goes to the most cost-effective charities we can find, even if those charities change. Please email us at trust@givingwhatwecan.org if you are thinking of doing this.

Is this connected to the Pledge?

No, the Trust is just an option for way of donating, while the Pledge is a commitment to give a proportion of your income. The Trust can help you fulfil your Pledge, but non-members can use the Trust as well. Members are not obliged to give through the Trust, and can donate to other charities they believe to be effective if they wish.

Can I donate through Payroll Giving?

Yes, the Trust is registered with all of the UK’s main Payroll Giving Agencies. You may need the following details to set up your donation:

Charity number: 1155773 Charity address: Giving What We Can Trust, 6 Temple Mews, 6 Temple Road, Oxford, OX4 2DY

When you fill out your Payroll Giving application, please try to include an indication of which charities you would like us to direct your donation towards. If the application does not allow space for this, please email trust@givingwhatwecan.org.

Are there any fees?

The Trust does not charge any fees to donors or charities, ensuring that the maximum amount possible reaches the recipients.

The only fees are transaction fees incurred when transferring funds. GoCardless fees are 1% of each donation, capped at £1.20, and Paypal fees are 1.4% + 20p, uncapped. Bank transfer fees are subtracted when the Trust grants funds to recipient charities.