I have been looking at the very large amount we give to charity each month and deciding how to cut it down in monetary terms given that we hope to reach early retirement later on this year. The first thing I did was use the website connected to the book “ The life you can save” to calculate what the new total should be. I was a bit shocked to see that we have been giving way over the suggested amount !
Then I started to work out how we could still contribute the same value but without using actual funds ! The first thing to think about was Giftaid, this is a government scheme which you can sign up for when you make a charitable pledge and guarantees that the charity will be given the tax you have paid on any contribution made, this works on giving goods as well as actual cash and increases the value of the donation by 25% if you are a basic rate tax payer. After we stop paying tax we won’t be able to use it but it is handy now.
I changed our donation amounts to take into account Giftaid and also started to use it on items donated to charity shops. The other thing I did was calculate the value in time of a monetary donation and sign up for some volunteer hours. The next thing was to find out which survey websites allow you to use your earnings to help charities and sign up for those. By the time I had finished we were still giving roughly similar amounts to the same organisations just in a different way, a definite Win-Win.
How do you give to charity ?