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Giving for free: more ideas & opportunities

Melanie May | 12 April 2023 | News

a deck leading out to huts in a blue sea. By Pixabay on Pexels

Shopping through affiliate sites or using browsers and search engines that earn donations are two of the most well known ways charities can encourage fundraising without it costing the supporter anything but there are plenty more ways. Here’s a list of other ideas and opportunities, from holiday bookings, to Gift Aid.

eBay for Charity

eBay for Charity provides charities with online storefronts from which they can list items to raise money. There are currently over 13,000 charities active on eBay, and to date, eBay’s community has raised over £230 million for UK charities. Regular sellers can also use eBay for Charity to support causes close to them, using Charity Search to find their favourite charity, then looking for “Donate a portion to charity” when listing an item. People can choose to donate 10-100% of profits and eBay will credit them an equal percentage of their fees, while buyers can add a donation to their purchase during checkout.

Music Patron

Music Patron is a new charitable startup that offers music lovers a way of supporting new composers. Patrons support composers with a small monthly donation, giving them a more sustainable income. At the moment however, it is giving people £10 to give to a composer. People choose one of the nine on offer, or select ‘Choose for me’, and Music Patron gives that composer a tenner, and for 30 days the individual receives exclusive email content from their chosen composer.  The offer is designed to provide a taste of Music Patron.

SEE ALSO: 60 small charities and nonprofits to receive free training and support thanks to new partnership (12 July 2022)


An introduction to AI for charity professionals by Ross Angus


‘The over 50s membership that gives back to society’, 100% of Differently profits go to charity to support older people facing financial hardship. Differently is a social enterprise owned by the charity Independent Age – its first, and 100% of profits go towards supporting vulnerable older people. Over 50s sign up to receive access to hand-picked experiences, from meals out to workshops and shows. Each time someone books an experience with Differently, it gets a small commission from its partners, which goes to the charity.

Train Hugger

Book a train ticket with Train Hugger, and they plant a tree in the UK, in partnership with The Royal Forestry Society. There’s an app, or tickets can be also be booked on the web. Train Hugger has set up a grant with the Royal Forestry Society, which is administered by a professional forester. RFS members (woodland owners across the country) apply to the grant to plant climate resilient mixes of trees in the UK.


GoodCloud is marketed as the ‘first cloud storage platform designed to help charities and social enterprises thrive’. A Digital Asset Management service that is focused on charities and good causes, it enables users to safely and securely manage their images, video, artwork and documents, and share them easily. 25% of its profits go to UK charities and good causes.


Purpose-led ad platform Good-Loop offers a CTV ad format that rewards viewers’ attention and time with a free donation to charity. Advertisers can buy the watch-to-donate format across various CTV channels using Good-Loop’s purpose-powered ad wrapper. Once the ad has been played, it generates a free donation to a charity, funded by the brand. Formats include pre, mid and post-roll. The ad unit includes a QR code, which viewers can scan to find out more details on campaign, charity partner and total donations raised.

SEE ALSO: Free experiences on offer for Scottish local charities (22 February 2023)

Gift Aid

Gift Aid, of course, is also a way for people to give to charities at no cost to themselves, and possibly the best known, enabling charities and amateur sports clubs to claim an extra 25p on every £1 donated. To use Gift Aid, people must have paid enough income tax or capital gains tax to HMRC in the tax year in which they make their donation – at least equal to the amount that the charity will reclaim.

Good Travel Management

Good Travel Management is an example of a company that donates a percentage of its profits to charity each year. Booking or shopping with companies like this arguably helps them to donate more. 

Charitable Travel

Charitable Travel is a not-for-private profit social enterprise travel agent that enable customers to donate 5% of the cost of their holiday to a charity of their choice through its partnership with JustGiving. Once this donation has been paid, the organisation discounts the cost of their holiday by the same 5%, effectively making the customer’s donation free. Charitable Travel donates around half of the commission gained on the holidays sold.


GoodFX is a B Corp that specialises in international payments – sourcing market-leading rates, and then using the profits to fund a charity of their clients’ choice and create meaningful jobs for refugees. It has 3 areas of impact: 23p in the pound of commission goes to a charity of their clients’ choice. International charities can also nominate themselves to create a rebate mechanism and keep more donor money within the charity ecosphere. GoodFX also purposefully uses suppliers that are focused on refugee employment – for example, its social media is run from a UN camp in Kenya, while its website is maintained by Syrian refugees in Lebanon.


Giveacar arranges free collection of unwanted cars, then either sells them at auction or scrap them with the proceeds (minus its service fees) raised going to the donor’s chosen charity. To date, it has handled the auction and disposal of over 35,000 vehicles and raised over £4mn for 1,600 charities. It also helps people donate vans, motorbikes, and caravans.

Virgin Red

Members of Virgin Red can donate Virgin Points to help support regional and national charities.

Made By Dyslexia is the latest charity added to the growing list of 15 charities available for members to support.

Virgin Group has collaborated with Made by Dyslexia since the charity was founded six years ago, supporting its mission to Redefine Dyslexia. Collaborations include last year’s Dyslexic Thinking Campaign, which saw Made By Dyslexia and Virgin join forces with LinkedIn as Richard Branson announced that Dyslexic Thinking had been officially added to LinkedIn as a drop-down skill, and the term added to dictionary.com.

“Donated Virgin Points will be converted into cash donations for Made By Dyslexia at a not for profit rate.”

For more ideas, read 5 key ways people can give for free and catch up with all our monthly focus coverage here.