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Cleversquirrel apparently not too good to be true

Back in January, I wrote a blog outlining the Cleversquirrel scheme designed to secure money for charities from financial policies and products already in the system.  I concluded at the time that it seemed like a great idea; ‘free’ money for charitable donations from financial services providers, rather than individuals having to find more to donate.  Consequently, I wasn’t sure if this looked rather too good to be true.

I’m happy to say that as of this week, my cynicism is being rightly beaten down and that Cleversquirrel has announced the first success story from its approach.  The first pledge of £130 has been made to Droitwich Ferret Welfare.  Secretary of the charity, Anne Robinson said “I am delighted with the news! Usually the ferrets do the "ferreting out" so it is amusing to find the old adage turned on its head, to find a squirrel looking after the ferrets by "ferreting out" the cash”.

It also looks like this kind of fundraising could soon be benefitting many other charities too, as over 300 have registered with the service since its launch and created their own pages.  According to Cleversquirrel, there have also been “a good number of individuals allowing us to check out their policies” which can only mean more donations for their chosen causes.

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As a quick reminder, some investment, pension and insurance policies include charges that can be claimed by an adviser to help you with your policy. This equates to millions of pounds.  If you don’t have an adviser for your policy, you could be paying for something you’re not using. Therefore, with permission from the policyholder, Cleversquirrel claims these charges back and converts them into charitable donations.

You then select which charity receives them either from the Cleversquirrel panel of charities or pick your own – simple.  Interestingly, the panel is formed of six charities: Save the Children, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK plus three others selected from individuals’ requests and twitter traffic!

The need to use such media is therefore very much in evidence for charities.

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