Every year, Small Charity Week celebrates and raises awareness of the essential work of the UK’s small charity sector.
This year’s event takes place between 19 and 23 June, and focuses on local and often low-profile organisations that make an invaluable contribution to the lives of millions of individuals, communities and causes across the UK and the rest of the world.
The focus is particularly welcome, as Nationwide has recently reported that 6 in 10 Brits have cancelled or cut down on charitable giving since the cost of living crisis began.
If you want to get involved with a campaign that’s close to your heart, there are many ways to do so – and many financial and wellbeing benefits. Here are three of the main reasons to support a good cause this Small Charity Week.
1. Mental benefits
There are countless ways that you can help others as part of your everyday life – and it could give your wellbeing a boost.
The Mental Health Foundation shares evidence that helping others can also benefit your own mental health and wellbeing. For example, it can reduce stress as well as improve mood, self-esteem, and happiness.
There are lots of ways that you can get involved with a good cause that don’t include simply making cash donations:
- Planning a fundraising event in your local community or workplace
- Following your chosen charity on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and joining in the conversation
- Signing up to receive your charity’s newsletter and keeping up to date with the work they’re doing
- Raising money by taking part in a challenge, such as a fun run or walk in fancy dress.
Action Mental Health reports studies that have shown that giving is beneficial for combating stress, depression, and anxiety. It also serves to keep you mentally stimulated, improve your self-confidence, and provide you with a sense of purpose.
The final point – a “sense of purpose” – could be particularly important. The Japanese call this term “ikigai” and it essentially means “the reason you get up in the morning”.
Having a purpose such as helping a good cause can give you focus and can help you live a longer and happier life.
2. Social benefits
A survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that 62% of people who reported being lonely “often or always” said that feelings of loneliness had a negative effect on their mental health.
Loneliness can also be detrimental to your physical health, with estimates suggesting it could increase your risk of death by 26%.
As well as the mental wellbeing benefits supporting a charity can bring, it can also have valuable social benefits.
For example, volunteering is a great way to help others, and research shows that it benefits people of all ages by increasing feelings of self-esteem, social connection, and wellbeing.
3. Financial/tax benefits
As well as the positive benefits of being kind, there are also financial perks designed to encourage charitable giving.
Gift Aid enables a charity to claim back the basic rate of tax you paid on your donation. So, for example, a £100 donation you make is worth £125 to your charity.
And, if you’re a higher- or additional-rate taxpayer, you can claim the difference between the rate of tax you pay and the basic rate on your donation through your self-assessment. So, in the example above, if you were a higher-rate taxpayer you could claim an additional £25 of relief.
Give as you Earn
If you’re working, you can donate directly from your monthly salary using an employer “Give as you Earn” scheme. This enables you to donate from your pre-tax earnings, so a £100 donation would cost you £80 as a basic-rate taxpayer, £60 as a higher-rate taxpayer, and £55 as an additional-rate taxpayer.
Donate land, property or shares
Additionally, you do not have to pay tax on land, property or shares you donate to charity. You get tax relief on both Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax on these donations.
Leave a legacy in your will
Another popular way to support a good cause is to leave a legacy in your will. Any amounts you donate fall outside of your estate for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes and, if you donate more than 10% of your estate, your overall IHT rate could drop from 40% to 36%, lowering the liability for those you leave behind.
Get in touch
If you’d like to find out how you could support causes close to your heart as part of your financial plan, please get in touch.
Contact us by email at email@example.com or call us on 01189 876655.