Top Tips and Myths on Giving to Charity (based on recent Which Research)

According to Which (December 2022), they offered 10 tips on giving to charity, “how to donate safely & effectively), we decided to review the tips and demonstrate how our own ethos and ways of working match the suggestions:

  1. Challenge yourself; is the cause you care about already sufficiently funded or not. Worth checking out how your money is being spent. At Red Trouser Day we are completely transparent with some 95% of net proceeds funding research, but we do need a lot more. Our vision is to bring an end to Colorectal Cancer as a life threatening disease.
  2. Systems change vs Direct Help; decide if you wish to provide funds to help effect change (like research) or to provide direct support (e.g. patient care). Our events raise awareness and educate to help prevent bowel cancer as well as providing much needed funds to effect change.
  3. Consider what to give; i.e. donate money or physical goods and food. At Red Trouser Day we do not provide humanitarian aid in this way so the provision of such things are better donated to other causes who can make a bigger difference.
  4. Give time not money; Red Trouser Day like many charities rely on volunteers whether it be in support of an event or even running an event. We also welcome people who can contribute in other ways, like being a formal photographer at an event. We also provide moral support to patients going through the difficult journey of treatment, so if you are a survivor of colorectal cancer and can help in this way, we would love to talk to you.
  5. Update for inflation; any long standing regular financial donations are a great way to help a charity with its fundraising, but inflation can erode this over time, so worth reflecting if you can. At Red Trouser Day we have a “monthly giving” community membership for £10/month, which comes with some benefits as well.
  6. Give tax effectively; if you make a donation and you are a tax payer, please tick the Gift Aid box which allows us to claim 25% from HMRC at no expense to yourself. Some firms run Payroll Giving allowing donations to be deducted from your wages before tax.
  7. Do sense checks; if you get unsolicited requests, do some checks to make sure it’s legitimate. At Red Trouser Day, any street fundraisers will carry some form of ID as well as official Red Trouser Day tins and buckets.
  8. Check the charity is genuine; fraudsters take advantage with fake websites, emails and bogus causes. At Red Trouser Day, you will always see our registration number which can be checked on the Charities Commission website and you will also see a logo confirming our compliance to the Fundraising Regulator.
  9. Do further research; does the charity spend your money well? It’s worth looking up their finances on the Charities Commission website and check some basics; are the accounts files on time, do the trustees have relevant and decent experience. These are recognised as good indicators.
  10. Don’t feel under any pressure; giving to a charity is an important decision, so never feel under pressure. Most of Red Trouser Day’s fundraising is achieved through attendance at events which are designed to be fun as well as raising awareness. We always promote how the money is spent and often get along speakers from our researcher community to share the progress they are making, which is also a valuable insight into the clinicians world.

From WHICH magazine Dec 2022

Five Myths About Charity Giving

  • High Overheads are bad; costs are not a reflection of how well-run a charity is! Some will have higher costs, especially if they employ staff for special services. At Red Trouser Day we have no staff overheads, all our work is voluntary.
  • Charity is a Temporary Solution; this can be true but it is still important to act. The best charities combine a hands on approach whilst campaigning for change. Red Trouser Day vision is “We envisage a world without Colorectal Cancer” which if achieved will mean the end of the charity.
  • Big (or Small) charities are inefficient; size is less important than how well it is run. Bigger charities can have more influence, whereas smaller ones maybe more responsive. Red Trouser Day is a small charity making a big difference.
  • My Taxes are enough; your taxes don’t stretch to everything. Nor do they fund much work abroad. Red Trouser Day was given permission by the Charities Commission to raise funds for life changing research that cannot be funded elsewhere. Our funds are also helping research students achieve a major step up in their career as well as hopefully making a major breakthrough.
  • My donation won’t count; A small sum to an effective charity may have more impact than a big sum to a badly run one. Red Trouser Day takes pride in having a very strong governance approach to the administration of the charity. We receive research funding applications and vet them against some strong due diligence criteria before spending any more.

Our aim at Red Trouser Day is to accountable for the difference we are trying to make.

Please support our cause by making a donation or getting involved as a volunteer.