Supporters Frequently Asked Questions
How can small donations make a difference?
We depend upon lots of people giving small amounts of money as over many months the combined effect can be very large and have a substantial impact. Because our projects are appropriate and affordable for people living in some of the poorest countries, a small amount really can make a difference. Furthermore if you are able to Gift Aid your donation, this adds 25% at no extra cost to you.
Why make regular gifts?
We ask people to make regular gifts so that we have a more predictable income which enables us to plan more longer-term sustainable projects. Many people prefer to spread the cost of giving over small, regular instalments in order to give more over time. Giving regularly by Direct Debit is also the most cost-effective way to make a donation too.
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a UK Government scheme that allows charities to reclaim the basic rate of income and/or capital gains tax already paid on donations by UK taxpayers, at no extra cost to you. You just have to make sure you pay at least as much income and/or capital gains tax as we will reclaim in any tax year and keep us informed of any changes to your address/name. It's as simple as that, there is no extra work or cost involved for you. Please see our Gift Aid information page for more details.
What if I have agreed to Gift Aid to another charity?
You can support as many UK charities as you like through Gift Aid. All you need to do is to return a declaration to each charity that you support and ensure you are paying enough tax during the year to cover your total annual donations.
Can I use Charities Aid Foundation vouchers to make Gift Aid donations?
Practical Action cannot reclaim tax on donations made through the Charities Aid Foundation as the tax has already been reclaimed for you. However, we would be grateful if you could complete and return the declaration form anyway so that any donations that you have not made from your CAF account, or might make directly to us, can be tax effective as well.
How can I give tax directly from my salary efficiently?
Anyone can join Give As You Earn, if their pay or pension is taxed through PAYE and their employer offers the scheme. You can then make regular donations from your salary before tax. Go to CAF Give As You Earn for more details.
Can I make a donation in lieu of a celebration?
Giving a donation in lieu of birthday, wedding or anniversary presents is a personal way to help support the work of Practical Action and celebrate your special occasion.
There are a few ways that you can do this:
- Set up a personalised Wishlist on our Practical presents website www.practicalpresents.org.uk/wishlist
- Create an online donations page with Justgiving by visiting their website www.justgiving.com
- Cheques made payable to Practical Action are welcomed by post
- Ask your friends/ family to call our Freephone number 0800 389 1624 to donate by credit/debit card specifying that the donations are for your celebration.
Can I donate directly from my payroll?
Yes you can. Simply specify a donation amount, which is deducted from your monthly pay packet, before tax. Because it's taken before tax, the amount you pledge actually costs you less!
Can I donate shares to Practical Action?
Yes you can. No matter how many or how few shares you have, Practical Action can benefit from them as a gift. By donating your shares to Practical Action, not only will you help in alleviating poverty, but you can also reclaim the tax on your gift. There are two ways to do this depending on whether you want the charity or you to get the most benefit.
Can I leave a legacy to Practical Action?
Yes, legacies are vital to our work across the world because they help us plan ahead. Every person who leaves a legacy is recorded for posterity in the Practical Action Book of Remembrance, which we treasure and is placed on public display at our UK office.
Does my donation go directly to the appeal?
If a supporter specifically highlights where they wish their donation to go to, then yes, it can be assigned to that appeal.
Where is my money being spent?
Unless your donation is specifically linked to a certain project or appeal, your money will be spent wherever the need is greatest.
How much of my donation goes on administration?
We are very proud that last year 87p in every pound raised was allocated directly to our charitable work. This figure fluctuates slightly year on year depending on how much investment is allocated to finding new supporters.
How do you ensure that my money is spent properly overseas?
We have a rigorous system of monitoring to support our country offices and projects. In addition we have both internal audit functions and external audits carried out by independent accountants.
I have more questions
If your question is not answered here please feel free to contact us