Category Media News

Guest Blog: “Trust” by Lucy Findlay, Managing Director, Social Enterprise Mark

Because we are proud to hold the Social Enterprise Mark, we were delighted to have been asked to share an article on “Trust” written by Lucy Findlay (Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark).

Social Enterprise Mark - link to their website

Social Enterprise Mark – link to their website

Trusting world

What does it take us to trust people? Is it reliability, support on tap or simply showing you care?

Trust means you place your faith, confidence and expectations into someone or something without a second thought. It’s a confidence that strengthens with every interaction you have with a person, organisation or business. Lose it and you may never recover that trust.

And haven’t there been some shocking displays of untrustworthiness in public life recently? Read more

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Free giving during the New Year sales: the charitable new shopping trend that can boost our mood

The UK loves to shop online – enough to have spent a whopping £91 billion online in 2013. We are expected to spend even more this year, partly thanks to shopping events adopted from the US such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday that have transformed UK retail sales figures.

Boxing Day and the New Year sales are set to be no different. With more than 37% of all online Christmas sales now made on tablets and smartphones*, online shopping is increasing in popularity, particularly when bargains are on offer.

One charity is using this boom to its advantage – by converting the usually hidden commission fees created whenever someone buys online, turning them into cash donations for charitable causes that are chosen by the shopper.

Changing the way we give

TheGivingMachine is one of a small number of similar shopping platforms that enable online shoppers to ‘give for free’ whenever they shop online. Platforms like these are transforming the way people give, giving online shoppers the freedom to choose where their free donation, paid for by the retailer, goes. Over 1,500 shops participate, making it possible to give while doing the weekly supermarket shop at Sainsbury’s or Asda, buying outfits in the sales at ASOS or Boohoo or when buying cut-price appliances from Amazon, Debenhams or John Lewis.

Some retailers participate in donation schemes by giving a small percentage of Christmas card sales to a nominated charity each year. By participating in free giving shopping platforms, retailers are able to support a wider variety of charities all year round. This strengthens the relationship with customers who know that by shopping with a certain retailer, the shop will support a cause the customer cares about.

While some similar online shopping models take a percentage of each donation for profit, TheGivingMachine is the only UK charity and social enterprise and ensures that charities benefit from the highest percentage of each donation.

Giving makes us feel good

While shopping has long been known to give an emotional boost, giving has been proven to release dopamine and serotonin without the guilt we sometimes feel after buying something new. By shopping through platforms that combine shopping and giving into one action, it has the power to boost our mood and make the shopper feel more satisfied as the result of the purchase.

New fundraising techniques for charities

For the 6,800 charities that participate, shopping platforms like TheGivingMachine have opened new and regular forms of funding, like the Cystic Fibrosis Trust has experienced. “We rely on philanthropy to continue our mission which ensures that everyone with cystic fibrosis has access to the best care and treatment possible,” says Carol Hunt, South East Fundraising Manager. “Platforms like these are an easy and regular fundraising channel that is incomparable to other fundraising methods in terms of time intensity and cost. So far TheGivingMachine has generated over £4,000 for us – an amazing sum of money, particularly considering the money costs our supporters nothing to create.”

Richard Morris, CEO of TheGivingMachine wants giving to be possible for everyone through online shopping websites such as his. “Up until now, giving to charity has often depended on whether you can afford it”, says Richard. “By taking away this financial barrier, giving becomes a choice rather than something guilt-based, which benefits charities as well as shoppers.”

Discounts and promotions

Free giving platforms work with retailers to offer special discounts to encourage customers to buy from them. Some upcoming Christmas and New Year promotions with TheGivingMachine include:

  • £15 off when you spend £30 at The Body Shop  – expires 24th December
  • Up to 50% off Home and Fashion at John Lewis, plus free UK furniture delivery – expires 31st December
  • 10% off The North Face products – expires 31st December
  • 30% off La Redoute – expires 31st December
  • 10% off all orders at Flowers Direct – expires 31st December
  • Total of £55 off your first five online grocery shops at Waitrose and £10 off your fifth shop over £100 – expires 9th January 15

For more information on the latest offers and discounts, click here and click on special offers. To find out more about TheGivingMachine, click here.


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TheGivingMachine achieves charity status due to its unique ‘giving services’

TheGivingMachine achieves charity status

TheGivingMachine achieves charity status

TheGivingMachine, a not-for-profit social enterprise that creates free cash donations for charities and schools when shoppers buy online, has become a fully licensed charity in its own right after raising almost £1m in donations. It is the first not-for-profit affiliate marketing program that supports charities and schools as an online shopping website, enabling people to give to a variety of charitable and social organisations across the country, for free.

TheGivingMachine exists not just as a fundraising platform, but as an engine to generate giving, connecting companies with customers and good causes. TheGivingMachine’s model enables individuals to unlock funds through a change in behaviour by building giving into their normal everyday routines. Read more

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TheGivingMachine launches Golden Hearts Campaign to hit £1m donation mark

Golden Hearts

Find out more about TheGivingMachine’s Golden Hearts campaign and join in here!

TheGivingMachine has today launched its ‘Golden Hearts’ competition campaign as it aims to surpass a total of £1 million donations over the Christmas shopping period for causes chosen by its Givers. The Golden Hearts campaign gives online shoppers the chance to win prizes in return for doing their Christmas shopping online through the not-for-profit website, which raises free money for the charitable causes they care about.

From today, anyone who shops through TheGivingMachine or refers a friend during the Christmas shopping period will receive a ‘golden heart’ that will be added to a digital Christmas tree on their account page. Ribbon-wrapped golden hearts will be awarded at random throughout the competition, entitling the user to a ‘Give and Win’ prize from a participating retailer that includes both a prize and a free donation to the winner’s chosen cause. At the end of the competition, a grand prize will be awarded to the person who receives the most hearts during the shopping period. Upcoming prizes include: Read more

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Is Santa’s secret out? Christmas giving unwrapped – TheGivingMachine explores the office tradition we either love or hate

TheGivingMachine's Secret Santa

TheGivingMachine’s Secret Santa- join in today!

It’s the festive office activity that polarises us – discovering the name you have pulled out of the hat belongs to either good old Claire in HR, or the guy in Marketing you’ve said hello to once in the kitchen. Love it or hate it, the Western Christmas tradition known as Secret Santa, where members of a group or community are randomly assigned a person to whom they anonymously give a gift has been an office tradition for the last 30 years.

It is believed that American philanthropist Larry Dean Stewart started the trend, who lived between 1948 and 2007 and made millions through a career in cable TV. To help those in need in the same way he had received help during his life, he anonymously handed out $100 bills over 26 years totalling $1.6 million. At an average amount of £5, the office version of Secret Santa is on a somewhat smaller scale but symbolises the same gift of giving during the season of goodwill. But why do we love to give?

Read more

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The power of one click: Hertfordshire charities benefit from boosted fundraising thanks to social enterprise TheGivingMachine

heGivingMachine - helping online shoppers to give for free to causes they care about.

TheGivingMachine – helping online shoppers to give for free to causes they care about.

Charities across Hertfordshire have benefited from over £65,000 thanks to a unique form of fundraising that enables online shoppers to give to charity for free.

Bishops Stortford company, TheGivingMachine, was set up by four Dads in 2007 who wanted to build an affiliate marketing programme to benefit social causes. The not-for-profit site operates by partnering with 1,500 participating retailers who pay a commission in return for sales referrals to their websites. This commission is then donated to up to four local or national charities of the shopper’s choice when a sale is made, making the donation free for the shopper. Over 82,000 Givers have signed up so far, supporting 6,700 UK schools and charities. Read more

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Do you prefer to support local or national charities?

Do you support a local or national charity – and why?

Our recent Giving Opinions survey found 77 per cent of respondents would prefer to support a local charity over a national one working for the same cause.  The survey also revealed a view that donations to smaller charities were more likely to be spent on the cause as opposed to costs associated with running the organisation. What do you think?

To see more of the Charity Times article featuring our survey, please click on the following link:


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Social Saturday – a day to celebrate Social Enterprises

Richard Morris - TheGivingMachine Low Res

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow is Social Saturday, a special day where we can celebrate the achievements of more than 70,000 social enterprises whose aim is to put money back into communities. We’re glad to be one of them. Together, we are helping to build a better place to work and live. Please do support the businesses that are taking part where you can. Have a look on the Social Saturday website and follow #socialsaturday on Twitter.

TheGivingMachine continues to support local and national charities across the UK and thanks to our members, we have generated more than 1.2 million donations to good causes. We’re proud to carry the Social Enterprise badge, which is an independent verification that we our business is about working towards the social or common good.

So congratulations to all of you who have used TheGivingMachine to generate free donations. Don’t forget to download our new Shop&Give reminder from our website to make it even easier to contribute to the causes that matter to you.

It is fantastic to see more and more business join in the social enterprise revolution. Together we can all make a difference to the way we live. Social Saturday is a great way to raise awareness that as consumers we have the ability to make a difference by choosing who we buy from.

TheGivingMachine team


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New Shop&Give reminder now available – Never miss a donation!



Shop&Give reminder now available to install




Every time you search for shops and products online you’ll get a handy reminder in your search results telling you which shops give free donations.

This genius piece of tech ensures you can give a free donation every time you shop online, plus you’ll be able to see which shops give the highest donation for the same products, so you’ll be able to raise more for the causes you care about.



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We’re changing, plus great new features – coming soon!

Why are we changing our branding?

Our new logo will soon be introduced on the website

Our new logo will soon be introduced on the website


TheGivingMachine was founded in 2006  by four Dads who wanted to give something back to their communities. TheGivingMachine brings together shoppers, retailers and charitable organisations and delivers a positive social outcome for all involved:

  •  Charitable organisations from schools, community groups to any UK based international charity all get access to a new source of funds, without compromising existing activities.
  • Retailers get new customers and see referral commissions going to good causes chosen by their customers,  increasing brand loyalty and their sustainability objectives.
  • Shoppers or ‘Givers’ by shopping online via TheGivingMachine are able to donate to any cause they choose at no additional cost.

We felt this simple mechanism needed a simplified, unique brand that worked  effectively across online and print mediums as well as small formats as we continue to significantly accelerate our giving plans. Read more

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