General FAQs

  • 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 is changing 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 will promote Amazon as an affiliate partner and the income generated will enable us to continue the fantastic work we do. 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.  Amazon operates its own charity giving scheme AmazonSmile and this is available for registered charities (including TheGivingMachine) here: <TheGivingMachine on AmazonSmile> 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 2,000+ retailers and engagement in promotions will continue to generate donations for the causes you love. We also plan to allocate a higher % of our advertising revenue back out as well. TheGivingMachine is still the best online shopping platform that makes you feel good.
While commerce and especially e-commerce continues to grow, funding available for community organisations, schools and charities is declining but community needs are rising. TheGivingMachine enables a small % of product prices to be converted into free donations for causes chosen by the buyer.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility is now part of a business model
  • Customers are empowered to make difference by a small behaviour change
  • Far more causes in far more places benefit
  • New source of funds for causes

In this way we can ensure companies, customers and communities thrive together.
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.
v1.5
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.
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