Income Services

This page originally focused on online income services only. A short section on offline income services was started November 2014.

Online Income Processing Options

There are a number of ways of getting money processed as a result of someone making a decision to ‘buy’ from your website (or via seeing a charity ad elsewhere):

  • At time of writing (June 2000), it is common for all types and sizes of organisations to require a form to be printed off and posted, or a phone call, with cheque or credit card payment being processed in ‘standard’ ways.
  • Use a Payment Service Provider (PSP) facility, where your website connects through when someone wants to make a payment. The money goes to their account, and you get paid typically 45 days later. (Information should be collected on your site so you respond before then!). Operate on a set-up fee (sometimes free) plus a percentage per transaction which can be double the offline charge.
  • A ‘secure server‘ within your web set-up which allows taking credit/debit card details online, and you then feed in manually to your normal card processing arrangements.
  • Real online card processing, through a facility like ePDQ (see Barclays), with a live or batch connection to the card issuers/clearers. Usually a monthly fee, lower transaction charge than PSP – try to negotiate same as your offline arrangement.
  • Your own online processing facility, connecting through to the banks system in a similar way to BACS. Only for the largest, and even then probably not yet.

Online Income Tools, Services, Apps

You may want to investigate how these facilities manage or link in to Gift Aid processing. Note that some services are promoted as “free” but check what this means, as the phrase can ignore administration charges or cuts from Gift Aid, for example.

  • Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) can collect donations over the internet in various ways.
  • Enthuse (was Charity Checkout) online payment processing.
  • Donate is a mobile tool, originally designed to get guests giving at charity events  etc. Run by charity National Funding Scheme.
  • PayPal has a simple Donate button as part of its solutions for charities.
  • Rapidata Services has some online fundraising services as well as direct debit facilities.
  • SnapDonate (new autumn 2014) is an app which connects with JustGiving via scanning a charity logo.
  • Charity Digital (was Tech Trust) has various fundraising related online (and offline) services, including bulk email, card processing.

The open source add-on to the CiviCRM platform, CiviContribute, may be available. While coming from an American base, they are trying hard to internationalise it.

Also see Membership Systems, as increasingly fundraising management processes are integrated into a wider CRM (customer relationship management) function. Also check Online services for Event Management.

Platforms, giving portals

Also see Fundraising Resources page for sample charity websites, ‘shop and give’. Make sure you check what set up costs, commission on Gift Aid claims and/or transaction fees are charged.

  • Charity Choice web directory provides an online donation facility for registered charities.
  • Charity Giving, another online giving site, is operated by the Dove Trust, a charity which has been providing fundraising support since 1983. Lower charges than most.
  • Encourages individuals to share a photo, video or any link that will inspire others and give to charity. Projects and community groups as well as charities.
  • Global Giving “Projects on are screened to ensure they meet a genuine charitable purpose, in areas such as education, health, economic development and the environment.”
  • GoFundMe launched in the UK in 2017. From 2018, 5% donor charge dropped in favour of “voluntary tips”.
  • Golden Giving Only charges card transaction fees, through support by various philanthropic partners.
  • iRaiser Based in Paris (suggested by Shelter Scotland’s digital manager in an article Oct. 2014).
  • JustGiving The most well-known online platform for individual charity fundraising. There is an annual membership charge, unless you sign up for the Basic account. They also have a crowdfunding facility. Possibly also a ‘white label’ version for use within a charity’s own web page.
  • Localgiving aims to enable philanthropic giving to small local charities and community groups in the UK. It is a social enterprise owned by two charities, and every local charity listed is vetted by their local Community Foundation. There is an annual fee.
  • Make a Donation, now part of Golden Giving No commission charges due to support from businesses.
  • Makerble More about tracking impact of projects to show the change donors can make.
  • SmartGiving Fundraising pages and charity accounts (claiming Gift Aid before the account holder allocates the money). A registered charity.
  • The Big Give.
  • Total Giving from Raise your Profile using its Donation Manager software. No fees, apart from PayPal processing.
  • Virgin Money Giving is another individual fundraising platform, set up as a not-for-profit. There is a set up fee.

Community shares, Crowdfunding

General Payment Services

  • Barclaycard Business Services ePDQ is their online payment facility for approved merchants.
  • Paysafe (was NetBanx).
  • PayPal is a little different to the others. Accepts credit card payments very quickly, but there are some restrictions on what you can then do with the money.
  • Planet Payment Phone 0800 027 3636.
  • PayPoint. (previously SECpay).
  • Trust Payments/SecureTrading provides ‘real time’ processing of payments by credit and debit card. UK based.
  • WorldPay is quite widely used by UK charities (which are charged 1% on credit cards, no annual fee). Doesn’t meet full accessibility requirements, according to reports. Part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Cards and payment facilities

Various banks provide branded debit/credit cards for charities – we haven’t collated details so far.

Running an Event

Important note: this page is definitely NOT a complete statement of the legal issues – we only give pointers. Check out our Legal Matters page for further help in this area.

Events Diaries

Year Ahead (was Awareness Campaign Register) has a calendar of all campaigns logged with them, to help avoid clashes or fit in with existing events. However, access requires a subscription.

Fundraising UK has some information on upcoming events.

Where Can We Go, while a general ‘family events’ listing site, encourages community and other charity events to be added.

General tips

‘The event isn’t over until you’ve packed up and got back to base’. Too many events fall into chaos at the end due to premature celebrations by the organisers.

Checklist from Open University ‘Winning Resources and Support’ – SCHEMES:
– Space
– Cash
– Helpers
– Equipment
– Materials
– Expertise
– Systems

Start from the event date and work backwards in planning the lead up. Can you realistically carry out several tasks in parallel, or do you need more volunteers or time (or money to pay overtime, outside agencies etc)?

Don’t forget contingency planning – ‘what if …..’ You can’t anticipate everything, but a way to deal with a broad range of problems should be thought through early on. What is crucial to success, and how do you ensure this?

If your organisation is ever going to run any other event, a ‘debrief’ is very helpful, within a few days of the event finishing. What went wrong, but also what went right – it is easy to assume that the latter happened naturally and end up not giving these items enough attention next time.

Although it is helpful to divide up the work, it also needs to be co-ordinated by one person or a very active (and small) committee.


Taking Money

Don’t forget that there are strict rules about collecting money in public places, with charities having to be particular careful. While police/local authorities may turn a blind eye to small-scale bending, it is usually better to do the homework. See Charity Commission website for leaflet CC20 – Charities and Fund-Raising.

If you are running a more sophisticated event and have the potential to process credit card payments, note that it is now possible to get hold of hand-held electronic terminals which connect via the mobile phone network. Various options out there, but changing, so best to do a web search.

A leaflet from HM Revenue and Customs, Fundraising events : exemption for Charities and Other Qualifying Bodies  – note leaflet CWL4 not available from new web section at November 2014 – sets out the conditions for direct tax and VAT exemptions that apply to fundraising events.


There are quite a few regulations around ‘public’ events. Unless your event is by invite only (and even then you ought to make sure on the exact status), it is likely to fall within this. Possible issues:

  • Sale of alcohol. Will require application to magistrates court – check out via local council. The common tactic of selling raffle tickets and winning a ‘free’ drink is legally highly dubious!
  • Public entertainment licence. Check with local authority. May also require Music licence – see Legal Matters.
  • Lotteries. You need to register with the local authority.
  • Street collections. Ditto.
  • Food hygiene registration if you are preparing food ‘on site’. Try Environmental Health section of local council.
  • Fire regulations are generally the responsibility primarily of the venue management. Hirers may be required to observe particular rules, or notify them if certain hazards are present (e.g. fuel for a barbecue?).
  • Street activities will probably need clearance from the police, and maybe the highways authority (local council) too.
  • Also see Risks below.


Village halls and the like wishing to show films need a licence from the local authority. There are a number of exemptions to this, including:

  • if there is no charge or private gain
  • if the premises are used for no more than six films a year
  • if you are a non profit making organisation with a Home Office exemption certificate
  • if you form a non-profit making film or video society whose performances are only open to members

Copyright and royalty permissions are necessary even if a licence is not required.


The Theatres Act 1968 states that where a local authority is satisfied that a play is to be performed for a charitable or other like purpose in respect to one or more particular occasions no fee is payable for a licence. This means in practice that if a play is to be performed for charitable purposes and if dates of performances are given in advance, no fee will be required. However, in the case of an annual licence, there would be a fee payable because it relates to unspecified performances throughout the year.

(The above two items extracted from June 01 Newsline from Community First H&W. They may well be out of date, due to the Licensing Act 2005.)


Centre for Accessible Environments has produced a guide, Make your conference accessible, but now doesn’t seem to be on the web site (March 07).

Also see Admin page on Access and other premises issues.


The usual marketing checklist – who’s the audience (people), how do you get to them (place), what is the attraction (product) and what do they have to do to participate (price)? Don’t forget to give contact details, meeting or kick offs times and how to get there. Obvious but often something is missed off – get a second person to check over what has been produced before it goes to printers/local newspaper etc.

See Marketing page.


See the Insurance information page, or go direct to Insurance Services page for brokers.

A ‘duty of care’ is placed on anybody organising an event. This means looking at activities for possible health and safety problems for participants, organisers and bystanders. While challenge and other (fundraising) physical activities have obvious risks, everything from meetings in badly maintained buildings to crushes around celebrity appearances have their own unique issues. Step back and consider the (reasonable) possibilities, and plan to prevent or manage them.

The Home Office (with wider input) produced (summer 06) ‘The Good Practice Safety Guide for small and sporting events taking place on the highway, roads and public places’ so that such events are as safe as possible for the public and participants. Its 72 pages has specific sections on charity stunts, carnivals, charity walks, cycle races and other useful material. No longer available from website, May 2010?

Do you need first aid cover? Typically provided at charity events by volunteers from St Johns Ambulance, British Red Cross etc, but there is usually some charge for the service. There may be a commercial service available e.g. Primary Ambulance Services in Essex.

Live music booking agency Function Central have put together “A Definitive Guide to Health and Safety Requirements for Event Planning“. Some of this will only apply to larger or more complex events, but plenty of food for thought.

Code of Practice

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has various Codes of Fundraising Practice which cover running events – outdoor, charity challenge etc. They have also produced a leaflet with the Association of National Park Authorities on Charity Challenge Events but no longer on the web site?

More Resources

Society of Event Organisers run various seminars etc. on how to organise exhibitions, conferences etc. Phone 01767 316255

See Event Services page for ticketing, event booking etc.

Fundraising Resources

Fundraising services and info, online giving, sample sites, funders

Fundraising information

Payroll giving is covered on the Tax Reclaim Services page.


Consultant sites with resources

See Professional Bodies page for further support networks. Also see Magazines page.

Locating sources of grants etc.

Also see: Directory of Social Change above. There are a number of Twitter feeds (at autumn 2014) putting out updates on grants and other income opportunities, too.

  • EU Money Service publishes a directory of European grants and has a grants update service.
  • Funding Central is managed by NCVO. It covers a wide variety of grants, contracts and loans that are available particularly from official sources, plus sections on advice, ‘find a partner’ etc.
  • Grants Online Information on calls for proposals from the European Union, government and National Lottery grants etc. Free trial, annual sub from £75.
  • Idox has a suite of media platforms which “offer access to thousands of funding opportunities for businesses, community groups and students across the UK”. See Grantfinder database. They also run Open4FundingOpen4Community to allow councils to put funding search facilities for charity and community groups on their web sites.


Funders with useful websites


National Lottery related

Fundraising on the web

Crowdfunding is a label sometimes attached to online sourcing of fundraising by individuals. See Online Income Services for Platforms/giving portals, Online Tools and Services. Our Taking Action Personally page may also give some initiatives you can benefit from or be inspired by.

Also see Membership Systems, as increasingly fundraising management processes are integrated into a wider CRM (customer relationship management) function.

Note that some services are promoted as “free” but check what this means, as the phrase can ignore administration charges or cuts from Gift Aid, for example.

Mailing lists

  • MarketingFile Provides access to mailing lists via the web. You make your own selections and pay per item (no minimum quantities). While they see this as useful to smaller charities, there aren’t any tailored charity lists and you would need to have a clear idea of your target audience. Definitely worth a look if you are thinking of doing a cold-mailing appeal to generate new donors.
  • Avongate Find relevant postal and email lists for direct mail campaigns.

Shop and Donate

Sites generating commission/donations based on consumer purchases from various online retailers. Most of these charge charities/organisations to appear, and/or take a cut of each transaction generated. Some sites don’t last long, but others are now reasonably established. Note: We don’t update this list very often.

  • Easy Fundraising Over 55,000 causes, 2,700 retailers, at Sep. 2014.
  • The Giving Machine. Has a shopping toolbar/reminder system. Over 6,600 schools & charities at Sep. 2014.
  • Give as you Live Over 3,500 stores, give to a charity of the month or your own choice.
  • GoRaise.
  • Vouchers4charity. Gift Vouchers/Greetings Cards can be bought online, with 3% of voucher value donated to charity.
  • eBay for Charity section – auctioning items for charity benefit.

Charity retail

Affiliate schemes, banner ads

These involve linking into existing schemes, such as the popular online bookseller Amazon’s facility for site visitors to link through from appropriate content, e.g. a book review, with a commission from connected sales coming back to you. You can get paid for carrying banner ads on your site, and some commercial sites now carry charity banners, with the named charity getting a small amount every time someone clicks on the ad (presumably the hosting site gets some info on its visitors this way).

Tab for a Cause web app turns any newly opened tab on a Chrome or Firefox web browser into a “charity collecting hub”, raising money from the banner advertisements which populate the new page. Purely American at Sep. 2014, but may expand.

Charity Tax Reclaim Services

Most charities will be quite capable themselves of processing claims for tax under Gift Aid – the forms aren’t complicated and there is cheap software available. See our reference page. But if you have loads of donations and few staff or volunteers, you might want somebody else to do the transfer of the information (name, payment amount and date) on to the claim form.

Other services offered include Give As You Earn (payroll giving) admin, facilities for donors to make all their charity giving tax efficient e.g. an account from which you make ‘cheque’ or card payments. The resulting payments can be quite time consuming to process: record donation, put on claim form or fill in voucher details, send off, reconcile payment when received. You need to make sure you don’t reclaim tax (eg by Gift Aid) on donations made by one of these facilities, as it will already have been reclaimed. Also check that these payments are not for merchandise, publications or member benefits (except where this falls within the set allowances). Donors can easily get confused on this if order forms aren’t clear.

  • Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is the most well-known, and advertises its various services for charity givers widely. They offer all sorts of services, as well as promotional material. Phone 0800 993311
    • Charities may receive vouchers, card payments or Standing Orders which need to be processed via CAF. You will usually have to register your charity with CAF to benefit.
    • Run Legacy Account and Personal Charitable Trust facilities for those with substantial personal assets.
  • Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services has a Charity Accounts service, an alternative to CAF. 14 Castle Street, Liverpool, L2 0NJ, phone 0151 236 7728.
  • Charities Trust Payroll giving and corporate donation management agency. Registered charity which charges a set administration fee of 25p (at spring 07), with any surplus money distributed amongst UK charities annually. Suite 22, Century Building, Brunswick Business Park, Tower Street, Liverpool. L3 4BJ.
  • Payroll Giving in Action puts various charities in front of potential employers/employees. 11a Litchdon St, Barnstaple, N Devon, EX32 8ND, phone 01271 329001.
  • Sharing the Caring / StC Payroll Giving “the workplace giving experts”.
  • Stewardship# Payroll giving etc. Offices in Chelmsford and Loughton (both Essex), phone 08452 26 26 27.
  • (South West) Charitable Giving.
  • Your accountants or solicitor can do the tax reclaim for you, at a cost.