Cause FAQs

If someone has made a direct donation to your cause, the donation can take up to one week to show in your cause account. If after this time a direct donation is not showing, please get in touch with us using the Contact Us option.
  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).  The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.
  • GDPR is all about empowering us as individuals to have more control over our data and how people use it and as a charity, we want to make sure we take GDPR seriously. This FAQ gives an overview of what changes TheGivingMachine has made and why.  Please see our privacy policy for our full legal statement.
  What data do we hold?
  • We hold the names, addresses, email addresses and Gift Aid declarations provided to us by members (Givers).  We also hold the associated contact names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers provided to us by administrators for causes.
  • We also hold information on payments and donations made by Givers to the TheGivingMachine.
What are the lawful bases on which we “store” and “process” your data?
  • We store your data because there is “legitimate interest” in being able to record your membership, the causes you support and donations you’ve generated.  We will send information to you about your account on a regular basis as well as confirming any changes you have made.
  • We also send various marketing emails that may relate to offers, top tips, new features and so on.  For these emails, we need explicit "consent" and to make sure that this is recorded correctly, we have sought re-consent from our existing audience.
  What changes were made for Givers and Causes?
  • We continue to send account related emails but they only contain relevant account information
  • For Givers, we request explicit consent to send non-essential account information (e.g. offers, top tips, new shops, messages from causes etc.).
  • We do not share Giver contact details with Causes but we do provide Causes an ability to publish thank you messages for their supporters to receive.
  Your rights:
  • You have the right to ask for a copy of information we hold on you and ask for it to be amended or deleted.
  TheGivingMachine’s Responsibilities:
  • Will will ensure that your data is kept private and only used by relevant people to carry out our activities.  We do not share this information with any organisation unless it is essential to deliver the services we provide (e.g. email marketing, query management etc.).
Our relationship with Amazon changed as of Monday the 10th February 2020.  Legal requirements mean that we are unable to offer any incentive, rewards or donations for using our links to Amazon. However, we promote Amazon as an affiliate partner and the income generated enables us to continue the fantastic work we do. What does this mean for Givers and Causes? Amazon shopping now generates income to continue our amazing work but we are unable to give it away. Your shopping at the other 2,600+ retailers and engagement in promotions will continue to generate donations for the causes you love. We have introduced free bonus donations to give out a far higher % of our advertising revenue to make sure supporters and causes don't miss out. TheGivingMachine is still the best online shopping platform that makes you feel good. Amazon's operating agreements for commercial partners explicitly prevent the community cashback model we previously operated and, in line with other similar schemes in the UK and internationally, this arrangement has come to an end.
You can get to the Cause log in page by clicking on the "For Causes" button at the top of our website. Alternatively, you can Click here to access the log in page.
Please Contact Us to update your details and we will send you a copy of the welcome email to get you up and running. We may from time to time have to check with the current account holder that they agree for this to be taken over by you.
Please Contact Us to make any changes to your Cause name as this can only be amended by us. For any other amendments, please log in to your Cause account to make any necessary changes.
Yes, shopping and donating via TheGivingMachine will not cost you a penny! All donations start as a referral commission payment that you enable to become a donation. Behind the scenes there are hundreds of £millions spent by retailers every year in sales commissions to shopping websites, comparison sites and product review sites. You just don't usually hear about them. TheGivingMachine receives these commissions and then converts them into free donations. Without your help, this hidden money cannot achieve its potential for the causes you support. As a Cause, your supporters generate these donations on your behalf and you reap the rewards for your cause - again, this is at no cost to you. We provide free promotional materials on our website to help you encourage your supporters to #clickshopgiveforfree TheGivingMachine retains a % of the commission to run the website and distribute donations. We are transparent about this and more detail is provided in another FAQ. You cannot lose!
We want to help as many causes that are focused on making a difference as possible and have defined the following criteria.  Please help us understand how your causes meets these and we can get you set up in no time. For the purposes of determining the membership as a cause of TheGivingMachine, causes must:
  1. have a UK bank account in their organisation’s name that we can pay donations into via BACS transfer.
  2. be formally constituted as an autonomous, democratic organisation independent of national and/or local government.
  3. fall into one of the following categories:
Educational Causes
  1. A school or educational establishment inspected by Ofsted.  These include:
    • Maintained schools and academies could be nursery, primary (infant and junior), secondary, community special, independent (non-maintained) special, boarding, residential special schools, pupil referral units and service children’s education.
    • Independent schools can cover different age ranges from 3 to 18; include boarding schools and residential special schools.
  2. Other educational establishment whose primary aim is the education of its students (e.g. Universities, colleges of further education)
Charitable and Community Organisations
  1. a registered charity (including a regional branch of a national charity);
  2. an Industrial and Provident Society recognised as an exempt charity;
  3. a social enterprise that is:
    • structured as a CIC OR
    • carries the Social Enterprise Mark
An Unregistered Body/Project which falls within the eligibility tests detailed below.**  ** An organisation or project with benevolent or philanthropic purposes which has the essential attributes of charity:
  • a spirit of altruism, and
  • a dedication to purposes which are worthy of public support
  • is free of any characteristics which are essentially alien to charity:
    • i.e. the primary focus of self-interest or private benefit vs. public benefit, such as the making a personal profit or the fact that the purposes in question are political, doctrinaire, or dependent on taking a particular view.
The commissions you generate can now be treated as donations to TheGivingMachine charity.   With your support, we can then claim Gift Aid on these donations. Please see our terms and conditions for more detailed info. We pass on 50% of your core donation to TheGivingMachine into a free donation to your cause(s). Here's an example:
  • A retailer shows a giving % of up to 2.5% on TheGivingMachine
  • You make a purchase via TheGivingMachine of £100 and that generates a sales commission of £5 (remember we publicly show 2.5% as that is the maximum giving %)
  • We allocate £2.50 to your causes via your Giver account
The funds retained by TheGivingMachine help keep it running so we can offer this free service, support a growing community and keep improving the features and functions. If you would like a donations report - please just Contact Us and we'll send that to you.
If you require a summary of your donations to complete your Tax Return please email and we can provide this for you.  
  • Our systems are updated daily and donations will normally appear on your account within 6 days. However, some shops might be slower to post their transactions.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to investigate any missing donations.
The online shops pay sales commissions to TheGivingMachine charity. These commissions are included in the sale price of the products and services from the shops as a reward for referring business.
Although we are often adding retailers to the site, some retailers change their marketing strategies from time to time. We therefore have to remove them from our site at these times.
The Shop&Give reminder sits quietly in your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome) as an extension. When you search for products online, the purple heart icon highlights which shops will give for free via TheGivingMachine. And even if you don't use a search engine, you'll be notified if the shop is participating in TheGivingMachine, and prompted to give as you shop. It really is as simple as that.
TheGivingMachine supporters can now donate directly to their favourite good cause. Supporters do not need to be signed up as a Supporter on TheGivingMachine to donate and we only ask that the transaction fee is covered – the donor has the choice of adding this to their donation or having it deducted from the donation (the transaction fee amount is shown before any payment is taken). There are no other fees for the cause or donor. Donate Now payments will be forwarded to the cause in the following months' payment run. To Donate Now supporters can simply visit the cause page they wish to donate to and select the Donate now button.
We allocate donations to the causes that the Supporter has chosen at the time they buy something.  Once changes to your causes have been made, future purchases made via TheGivingMachine will then be allocated to your updated causes.
Looking at averages over a year, an active Supporter can generate £36 - therefore 10 Supporters actively making purchases could raise £360 per year and 100 could raise £3600!! Not every Supporter who registers to support your cause will then go on to use TheGivingMachine actively, but you can expect between 10% - 25% of your Supporter base to do so. Beneficiaries who keep recruiting Supporters and thanking the ones they already have when payments are received are the ones who keep awareness – and therefore, donations – high. These simple things help keep donations coming in regularly. For large organisations, just multiply the numbers above to suit your donor base size: e.g. 1,000 Supporters actively using TheGivingMachine generate about £3000 a month, or a whopping £36,000 a year, for their causes.
One reason that the online shops take so long to pay commissions is that it allows for returns. If a sale is cancelled, the online shop can deduct a previously paid or pending commission from the next month’s payment to TheGivingMachine. In turn, we’ll deduct the revenue from this commission from the amount we pay to the beneficiary.
The only details that TheGivingMachine uses are the ones Supporters let us know when setting up their Supporter account (email address, post code etc.). Please note, we will never pass on or sell this to third parties. When Supporters buy something via TheGivingMachine, they are transacting directly with the retailer and we do not have any involvement with that purchase. We then get a data report from the online retailers we work with that lets us match up donations to the Supporters that generated them.
Once your Cause has joined, you will be able to download and customise promotional materials including both email and printable poster, flyers, and text and graphics for your newsletters and website. Here is the link to access our Promotional Materials.  
We use Bank Transfers to make donation payments to all Causes that have a balance of £15 or more, once a month. To make sure the account details correspond with your Cause, you can:
  1. email a copy of your organisation's paying-in slip (or cancelled cheque) and headed paper to  OR
  2. Post these details to TheGivingMachine, 49a The Shearers, Bishop's Stortford, Herts, CM23 4AZ.
Paying in slip Headed notepaper example Once these have been processed, your TGM Rep will receive an email confirming receipt and you'll be all setup!
Yes! You never need to miss a chance to donate again with our Shop&Give reminder. You can find out more and download the browser extension here.
All the online shops we work with have agreed to pay a commission in the form of a cash donation every time you click on their link on our site and buy a qualifying product from them. If you don’t access the online shop via the links on our website or the Shop&Give reminder, then the causes you’ve chosen won’t get a donation. Install our Shop&Give reminder to make sure you never miss a chance to donate.
We will always try our best to resolve any problems that have arisen in the course of the correct use of our website. If you have contacted us already, feel that we have not dealt with the issue appropriately and would like to take further action, please contact us and ask for our Complaints Procedure to be forwarded to you. This procedure follows guidelines that are set out by the FRSB (of which we are a member) and explain what to do next.
All of the participating online shops on our site have agreed to pay a commission in the form of a cash donation every time Supporters click on a shop’s link and buy a qualifying product from them. If Supporters don’t access the online shop via our links, then their nominated causes won’t get a donation.