Should there be a Charitable Trust?

Update Note 12 Sept 2006. This Charitable fund is now being set up. In the meantime until 19 Sept you can Vote, for which of the nominated charities you’d like a third of the money to go to.

I’ve always been very proud that as part of running this site, I’ve been able to donate a portion of the revenue generated to charity (see how this site is financed). In the last 12 months or so I’m really pleased over £75,000 has been donated, and since the site began way over £100,000.

Over the next twelve months, I predict as much as £150,000 could be donated. Currently much of this money goes to five charities nominated and voted for by site users (see charity fund).

What happened to MoneySaving Kids?

Last year I launched a feasibility study to see whether it would be worthwhile and possible to set up a MoneySaving Kids charity for half the money to go to. Having read the report, and having seen massive developments in the moves to aiding financial education I feel MoneySaving Kids would just get lost within it and the time it would need dedicating simply isn’t feasible.

Why I want to set up the charitable trust?

It’s still my aim that this site makes a difference. Having thought long and hard about it, I propose to do the following (and I’d like your feedback on it).

I will set up a Charitable Trust, which will be a charity in its own right. The site’s charity cash will then be paid to the charity. Fifty percent of this money will still go to five charities as nominated by the site’s users, just like it is now. With the remainder of the cash the trust will be grant awarding. The exact aims will need careful drafting but essentially it will be to promote, aim and educate consumer awareness.

I did consider awarding money to help people out of debt, but the funds aren’t there to help more than a few people and to do proper hardship fund checks on who is genuine and who isn’t would simply be unfeasible. Thus I prefer having money that provides long term awareness. E.g if someone wanted to do the Open University personal finance course but couldn’t afford the fees, then the trust could help. If a charity wanted to run a money education project or trip for schools, the trust could help. If someone wanted to develop a non-profit board game to teach children about money, the trust could help. This is the type of thing the money could be used for.

How will it be organised?

There would be a group of trustees, including me, but also a couple of, I hope, eminent people, plus a representative of the site users on board.

I’m delighted to say my father has agreed to be Chief Exec of the charity – he’s an education and charity specialist, so it’s perfect. As it’s real work he will be paid for doing so, however I’m going to meet all his salary costs and all other admin costs personally, so that every penny donated goes to the charity fund will go to a deserving cause.

Will others be able to donate?

Many who’ve been helped by the site often ask to donate – especially those who’ve received large endowment misselling compensation (see article). Currently I decline their offer, but in future I hope to be able to suggest people donate to the Charitable Fund.

When will it happen?

Soon. Provided people thing it’s a sensible idea, my aim’s to get it up and running within the next few months. At that point I will launch the vote for the site’s new charities, set up a MoneySavingExpert charity fund website, and we’ll work out the logistics.

Have your say

I would love your thoughts and feedback on this. However please don’t get into the logistics of how it’s done – I have some great professional volunteers who have agreed to help with the structuring and legals. To have your say just click the link below.

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