Giver FAQs

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!
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 April 2016, we changed our service - read more here. We convert 55% of your core donation to TheGivingMachine into a free donation to your cause(s) and with Gift Aid, that increases to 75%. Here's an example:
  • A retailer shows a giving % of up to 3% on TheGivingMachine.
  • You make a purchase via TheGivingMachine of £100 and that generates a sales commission of £4 (remember we publicly show 3% as that is the maximum giving %)
  • We allocate £2.20 to your causes via your Giver account
  • With Gift Aid we can claim another £1 from HMRC
  • We then allocate a further £0.80 to your causes via your Giver account once Gift Aid received
  • Your cause(s) then receive £3 - happy days :)
For purchases generated before 1st April 2016, we allocated 75% of commission as a donation and temporarily enabled Gift Aid to increase that to an effective 85% while we got our systems and processes developed. If you would like a donations report - please just Contact Us and we'll send that to you.
Our systems are updated twice a week - normally on Monday and Thursday. Usually, all purchases made since the previous update will show up as pending. However, some shops might be slow to post their transactions. So we recommend waiting for two updates of our systems after your purchase (at least a week) 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.
TheGivingMachine currently enables your Amazon shopping to generate between 1.5% and 2.25% (depending on your eligibility for Gift Aid) of your net purchase price as a free donation to the schools, charities or community organisations you choose. AmazonSmile is a separate website operated by Amazon that will donate 0.5% of your net purchase price to their participating charities.TheGivingMachine is only compatible with the main Amazon shopping website NOT AmazonSmile.  It is possible that Amazon may reduce donations percentage via TheGivingMachine at some point in 2018.
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.
All special offer codes we provide will work. But if you use an offer code you’ve been given somwhere else, the shop will probably have to cancel any commission payable to TheGivingMachine – and therefore, donations to your causes. Don’t worry – you’ll still gain points on loyalty schemes like Nectar and Clubcard when you buy things through TheGivingMachine.
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.
If you use a search engine (like Google) to search for an item and then log into your giver account to make the purchase, we might not receive the commission. It may be paid to the search engine instead (as they brought you to that retailer). It is always best to log-in and then browse/shop
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.
In the unlikely event that we can’t immediately match a donation with a Giver, we’ll investigate the transaction and endeavour to allocate it correctly.
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.
Many of the charities and schools send out ’thank you’ messages to everyone who supports them at least once a year. Please ensure your contact preferences have allowed them to contact you with periodic updates.
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
Log in to your Giver Account and go to the My Account button at the top right of the screen - hover over and a drop down menu will appear. In Edit Details, towards the bottom, there is a section where you can select your email and privacy preferences.   Please be aware, you cannot unsubscribe from service emails, which are necessary for account maintenance and for financial notifications - we do try to keep these to a minimum!
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.
We’ll always try our best to resolve any problems that come up in the course of the correct use of our website. If you’ve 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 Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB, of which we are a member) and explains what to do next.