Windfall tax payment offers giving opportunities for some

Crowdfunder's Donate the Rebate campaign logo
Donate the Rebate, suggests Crowdfunder

The government’s decision to give a grant of £400 to UK households to offset the substantial increase in energy bills offers an unexpected opportunity for charitable giving.

Last week the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £15 billion package to tackle of the rising cost of living crisis. This included a 25% windfall tax on oil and gas company profits.

While many people are reeling from the huge increase in energy bills and the wider cost of living crisis, the government’s financial support for each household is not essential for everyone. It is not means-tested – millionaires and billionaires receive the same amount as households on Universal Credit.

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While most will of course need it to cover their increased expenditure, some will be financially secure enough not to need to rely on it.

These people might therefore be in a position to donate some or all of it to charity – and perhaps a relevant charity, such as one dealing with helping people in fuel poverty.

These ‘opportunities’ crop up from time to time. For example, some people in receipt of government grants like the winter fuel payment choose to donate the sum to charity. This approach has been adopted by some to donate to charity since at least 2011.

#ProjectLightbulb

Connect, co-founder and presenter Oli Barrett spotted the opportunity quickly, and invited ideas on how to present it effectively, dubbing this “Project Lightbulb”.

He was inspired by Tom McCallum who shared Crowdfunder’s initiative in this area:

Barrett suggested working directly with the energy companies to promote the campaign and opportunity, and to distribute the payments to charities selected by their customers, or in other ways.

Several energy companies already offer a charitable giving option. Octopus Energy for example lets customers add a little top-up to their payments to help those in fuel poverty. Its charitable foundation Octopus Giving offers matched giving and grants, and promotes volunteering by its staff.

Donate the Rebate

Crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder was very quick off the mark with its Donate the Rebate campaign.

It encourages people to consider donating some or all of their grant to charity.

“We call on you to consider donating all or part of your Energy Rebate to the charities that are supporting those who need it the most. Our vulnerable children, families and elderly in our communities – our neighbours, teachers, nurses and our loved-ones.”

It proposes two charities whose work helps people facing fuel poverty and related problems – National Energy Action and Turn2Us.

It includes various suggested donation strings for each, indicating that it doesn’t have to be an issue of donating all or none of the rebate. Many people might still prefer to donate a small sum from the grant to help those in greater need.

Two poverty charities, with suggested donation amounts.
Image: Crowdfunder.co.uk


Crowdfunder also encourages people to share the campaign if they’ve donated to it or to share the fact that they have pledged to donate to the campaign. The latter is a useful function given that the £400 payments won’t be made immediately.

Crowdfunder offers images to help people share its Donate the Rebate campaign
Crowdfunder offers images to help people share its Donate the Rebate campaign.

Other campaigns

There are other campaigns coming up which might also benefit from the announcement of the windfall tax rebate, even if they don’t explicitly make the connection or ask themselves.

This includes The Childhood Trust’s annual summer campaign ‘Champions for Children‘, which begins soon on The Big Give: