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Direct debits vs Cheques
If you would like to help charities as much as you can, and truly make a difference, then it is best to give regularly with a monthly direct debit rather than an annual cheque.
...are better for the charity...
Regular donations are easier for charities to process and aid planning. A regular donation, set up by direct debit or a PAYE giving scheme, requires less human interaction, lowering administration costs. By making a regular donation, you also allow the charity to plan and budget further in advance, with the assurance that it has a certain flow of income.
...and the donor.
In fact, most people prefer to give regularly; sixty percent choose to give on a monthly basis rather than give the same amount in one payment. There are emotional benefits to giving more regularly; frequent, smaller payments are kinder on both our psychological and physical bank accounts than larger irregular payments. By donating regularly, we feel much more in control of our donations. This allows us to be more generous, in a way that we might have wanted to be but were nervous about trying. If it doesn't work out, you can go back to the lower rate – but most regular donors find themselves happy with their giving, as shown by very low drop-out rates.
There are also some smaller benefits. They might seem trivial, but minor inconveniences can often be surprisingly effective at stopping us acting. Regular payments can reduce the number of gift aid forms we need to fill in, and run the risk of forgetting about.
So while it's not as important as choosing the right charity, we recommend pledging to give regularly.
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