Leeds volunteers launch innovative new online charity donation service in what is believed to be a world first

A group of volunteers in Leeds have today launched a new online charity donation service - believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

By Joanna Wardill
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 4:45 am

‘Givto’ allows people to give to a different charity each month with one simple direct debit and has been created by the Better Giving Partnership, a registered charity founded by a group of friends in Leeds.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers who share a passion for making it easier to support charities - and they hope this innovative donation scheme will do just that.

Givto has been described as the online version of the charity token scheme in supermarkets, with users setting up a regular direct debit for an amount of their choice through the Givto website at www.givto.org and are then offered three good causes to donate to each month.

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Sunshine and Smiles' service manager Ailith Harley-Roberts pictured with Francis Henry during a cafe project at the charity in 2018. Picture: JPIMedia

A pilot version was trialled during 2020-2021 and raised more than £9,000 for 48 charities including Brake, Sense, Yorkshire Dance and Age UK Leeds.

It is now being rolled out to people nationwide, with plans to expand to local charities in regions right across the UK soon.

Alex Ellis-White, founder and chief executive of the Better Giving Partnership, said: “I have always been passionate about supporting local causes and I set up Givto when I realised there wasn’t a service out there that gave you the flexibility and choice to support a different cause each month.”

Alex was joined in his quest by a team of volunteers - from a range of professions including NHS and finance companies - who have donated their time and skills to get the service up and running.

Givto volunteer team, from left: Kathryn Griffiths, Nick Gregory, Alex Ellis-White, Penny Coulthard and Scott McKinney

He said: “Givto is run by charity for charity. We don’t make a profit from the service - we are here to bring people and causes together.

“I am delighted to roll the service out more widely and encourage people and charities across the country to sign up and join the Givto community.”

Sunshine and Smiles, the Leeds Down Syndrome network, was one of the first charities to sign up to the Givto pilot.

Its co-founder and service manager Ailith Harley-Roberts said it proved invaluable given the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on fundraising and events.

She said: “We heard about Givto through one of our families and I immediately thought it sounded really positive. It was very straightforward for us.

“After the initial sign-up there was nothing else we had to do, which for a small charity is really helpful.

“Givto is a great idea because rather than sending donations to the same charity each month, you get to learn about and give to different causes.

“It’s just a really lovely idea.

“For us, being featured on Givto paid for activities that directly benefit people - the money goes to a small charity helping people in really practical ways.”

For more information and to set up a donations, visit the Givto website at www.givto.org, where charities can also register their organisation free of charge.

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