December 21, 2021

5 Tips for Giving Well This Giving Season

Author John Canady, Chief Executive Officer

It’s always encouraging to see an upsurge in charitable giving during the final few weeks of the year. Research has shown that as much as one third of annual giving happens in December. That might not be surprising given the prominence of Christmas charity appeals, the growth in popularity of movements like Giving Tuesday, and our general predisposition to help those in need during the festive period, but it’s a reminder that giving is in our DNA.

We have a long and proud history of giving in the UK and thankfully, it’s on the rise. The UK Giving report, recently released by Charities Aid Foundation, showed that people in the UK gave £11.3 billion to charity in 2020, up by £700m in 2019.

However, if you are fortunate enough to be able to donate to charity, it can sometimes feel daunting to know where to start given the broad range of causes to donate to (there are approximately 169,000 registered charities in England and Wales as of 2021).

So, here are 5 quick tips to ensure your donation has the biggest impact this “Giving Season”, no matter how large or small.

1. Make it personal: Donating is a deeply personal act, so be guided by your values. Think about both issues and location when considering what matters most to you. For example, are you interested in helping improve healthcare, decrease food poverty, provide greater access to education or tackle gender inequality? And is your interest greater when considering the global, national or local landscape?

2. Do your research: Once you have decided on an issue, look into different charities operating in that space and what their need is. Look at how well they explain the impact on the end beneficiary – you should easily be able to understand what your money is going towards before you donate.

3. Make your donation unrestricted: The pandemic has had a devastating impact on charities, especially the smaller ones. Many are struggling to survive and will welcome unrestricted funding to help them through this crisis.

4. Give time as well as money: Consider volunteering in addition to financial donations. The most successful donors understand the importance of giving time and sharing knowledge, as well as money. There are few charities that would turn down a helping hand in the current climate.

5. Consider recurring donations: The festive season is a heightened period of compassion and generosity for many of us. But charitable programmes and the need to help those less fortunate is ongoing. Having taken the time to find a cause and charity to support, why not throw yourself into it and or commit to giving several times throughout the year?

Whatever you do, whether large or small, enjoy contributing to the great culture of giving in the UK. There is little doubt it will be welcomed with open arms by any charity this Giving Season.


John Canady, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust UK, has 25 years of experience working across the business, nonprofit and government sectors. He specializes in creating and managing philanthropic funds for donors and family offices around the world who wish to base their philanthropy from the UK.


NPT UK does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon as, legal or tax advice. The applicability of information contained here may vary depending on individual circumstances.