We’ve taken the first steps towards getting the MoneySavingExpert charity up and running. We had a rather long meeting about it (Tax Tony is a stickler for getting everything technically right) and we’re now at the stage where everything is ready, charitable status is being sought and we’re looking at how it will work.
The basic idea is that individuals or groups can apply for money three times a year in order to help themselves or the groups to help in education or information about money, debt or consuming. Now let me put that in practical terms.
* If you’re an individual you can get a grant to go on a recognised course which will help you learn about managing money, personal finance and more, provided you can’t afford to pay for it yourself.
* If you’re a group then grants are also available (we’re going through how to best organise that using the CVS scheme at the moment). Some examples, maybe a local debt-free group, or a training course for local schools, or teaching young army leavers how money works in the civvy world once they leave.
As for where the money comes from, well its all part of the site’s charities fund. Part of this is donated from the money the site makes, and the rest comes from the books like Thrifty ways, where I’ve donated the proceeds to the charity. My aim is to put £100,000 in the first year from the site and there will be the ability for site users to donate if they’d like to as well (as my father is to be employed to run it, I’m going to meet his salary, so that it doesn’t come out of the site’s donation, the charity fund or any users donations, but is ring-fenced from me personally).
For me the biggest money problem we have is financial and debt illiteracy, and the counter to this is consumer education and support. When we had the first meeting I realised how much there is to do, but we’re going to get there. And now we’re on the path. Soon the charity will be official and then donations can be taken. More updates as it develops.