Cause 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 are we making for Givers and Causes?
  • We will continue to send account related emails but they will now only contain essential account information
  • For Givers, we will require explicit consent to send non-essential account information (e.g. offers, top tips, new shops, messages from causes etc.) and so are updating our preference mechanisms to reflect that and are asking our Givers to re-consent.  
  • 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.).
We have made some changes to our website recently and you can now access the Cause log in page by clicking on the "For Causes" button at the top of the website. Alternatively you can Click here to access the log in page
Please contact us here: Contact Us or call on 0845 296 0028 us to update your details, then 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 here: Contact Us or call on 0845 296 0028 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.
After you have shopped via the TheGivingMachine website or app, your purchases will be tracked in their systems as having come via TheGivingMachine. We import the data from shops every few days so your giving account should be updated within a few days. However, it can take between 2 and 6 months for the money itself to come through to us from retailers. Online shops typically have a 28 day returns policy, and most shops pass on commissions 30-60 days after this. We distribute donations TheGivingMachine has received, once a month, by bank transfer for all balances over £15. Some shops are faster than others at paying their partners. Unfortunately, some of the most popular ones can also be the slowest. This is not unique to TheGivingMachine but all sales partners of these shops. Once donations are showing on a Giver’s account, they are being tracked by both the shop and TheGivingMachine.
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
  4. an unregistered body which falls within the eligibility tests detailed below.**
 ** An organisation 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.
v1.4
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. On 1st May 2018, these terms were updated. We initially convert 50% of your core donation to TheGivingMachine into a free donation to your cause(s) and with Gift Aid, that increases to 70%. Here's an example:
  • A retailer shows a giving % of up to 3.5% on TheGivingMachine
  • You make a purchase via TheGivingMachine of £100 and that generates a sales commission of £5 (remember we publicly show 3.5% as that is the maximum giving %)
  • We allocate £2.50 to your causes via your Giver account
  • With Gift Aid we can claim another £1.25 from HMRC
  • We then allocate a further £1 to your causes via your Giver account once Gift Aid received
  • Your cause(s) then receives a total of £3.50 - happy days :)
The funds retained by TheGivingMachine help keep it running so we can offer this free service and support a growing community as well as improving the features and functions. If you would like a donations report - please just Contact Us and we'll send that to you.
  • Our systems are updated daily and donations will normally appear on your account within 6 days. However, some shops might be slow to post their transactions so we recommend waiting at least a week after your purchase before contacting us with any queries. This resolves the vast majority of queries.
  • If you feel that there is still a problem after this time, please can you provide the following details of each transaction you think should be showing for us:
    • Shop:
    • Date:
    • Amount: £
    • Order Ref:
    • Type of Purchase:
  • Ideally, sending us order confirmation emails via - Contact Us, would be best but the basic information above enables us to get started.
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.
If we don’t list the cause that you are looking for, then please let them know that they are missing out on free money! It may simply be that they don't know about TheGivingMachine. Nearly all organisations with charitable status, including most schools and any charity registered with the Charity Commission, can join us and we don’t charge causes for joining or using TheGivingMachine. If you represent a cause that would like to participate, please sign up in the Cause Portal.
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.
Looking at averages over a year, an active Giver can generate £36 - therefore 10 Givers actively making purchases could raise £360 per year and 100 could raise £3600!! Not every Giver who registers to support your cause will then go on to use TheGivingMachine actively, but you can expect between 10% - 25% of your Giver base to do so. Beneficiaries who keep recruiting Givers 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 Givers actively using TheGivingMachine generate about £3000 a month, or a whopping £36,000 a year, for their causes.
We allocate donations to the causes that the Giver 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.
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 Givers let us know when setting up their Giver account (email address, post code etc.). Please note, we will never pass on or sell this to third parties. When Givers 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 Givers that generated them.
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 bacsdetails@thegivingmachine.co.uk  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!
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. Please click here to access this: link: Promotional Materials  
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 via our new application for browsers, 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.
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
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 which are set out by the FRSB (of which we are a member) and explains 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 Givers click on a shop’s link and buy a qualifying product from them. If Givers don’t access the online shop via our links, then their nominated causes won’t get a donation.
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