Pick this year's MSE Charities

MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
8.3K Posts
Updated Post

The charities below are listed in the order they were voted for by you. The two top big charities (B) and the two top small charities (S) were picked as the winners.

Read on below for more on the charitable fund and how these charities were shortlisted.

The following are the final 12, with 4344 total votes cast
  • Cancer Research (B)
    Carries out research to improve understanding of cancer and to find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer. (1050 votes)
  • Tools For Self Reliance (B)
    Tools for Self Reliance is a UK based charity working to help relieve poverty in Africa. It focuses on the artisan sector in rural communities. It has a small number of staff and hundreds of volunteers who help to collect and refurbish tools, and who actively campaign against the causes of poverty. (647 votes)
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (B)
    Helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free information and advice from 3,400 locations, and by influencing policymakers.
    Citizens Advice and each Citizens Advice Bureau are registered charities reliant on over 21,000 volunteers and need to raise funds to provide these vital services. The majority of advisers are trained volunteers, helping people to resolve nearly 5.3 million problems every year. (492 votes)
  • Different Strokes (S)
    A national charity supporting younger stroke survivors. It provides practical information packs, a regional network of exercise classes and/or swimming sessions, benefits and rights information, advice and info on education, training and work opportunities, access to counselling services, and a helpline to ensure a prompt and practical response to the problems which confront stroke survivors and their families. (444 votes)
  • Salvation Army (B)
    Worldwide it has over 1.6million members, with programmes including homeless centres, drug rehabilitation centres, schools, hospitals and medical centres, as well as nearly 16,000 church and community centres. The work of The Salvation Army is funded through donations from its members, the general public and, where appropriate, local authority and government grants. (343 votes)
  • Usable Websites (S)
    Provides websites free of charge for charities. All software develop is provided under Open Source licences meaning you're free to take your website elsewhere at any time. (269 votes)
  • Noahs Ark Appeal (B)
    The appeal was set up to raise the money needed to build, equip and support the first dedicated childrens' hospital for Wales. It will support facilities including a teenage cancer unit, a childrens' eye clinic and a private garden. (262 votes)
  • Credit Action (B)
    [SIZE=-1]Credit Action is a national money education charity[/SIZE][SIZE=-1] committed to helping people manage their money better. It aims to help people stay in control, rather than let money control them and disrupt their lives through over indebtedness. (248 votes) [/SIZE]
  • Personal Assistance Dogs (S)
    Personal Assistance Dogs trains emergency response dogs to provide physical and medical assistance for the disabled. (247 votes)
  • British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) (S)
    BDMLR was formed in 1988, when a few like minded divers got together in response to the mass mortality of Harbour seals in the Wash area of East Anglia, to do what they could for the rescue effort. BDMLR now provides a committed 24 hour marine animal rescue service. It was BDMLR that responded to the stranded whale in the Thames. (191 votes)
  • Serv (S)
    SERV, also known as the 'Blood Runners', is a charitable organisation that delivers blood products to the emergency and accident hospitals across Southern England at night free of charge when official Health Service transportation services don't opperate. It's a registered charity run by dedicated volunteer motorcyclists and drivers who give their time and petrol to do their bit using their bikes and cars to help others who need emergency supplies of blood. (83 votes)
  • Welfare Rights (S)
    Aims to relieve poverty, by helping and educating people in Welfare Rights and other related matters, thus improve the incomes and living standards of elderly, vulnerable, and disabled people all over the United Kingdom and possibly world wide via the internet. (63 votes)
What's it about?

This is money donated by this site to charities nominated, short-listed and selected by site users.

This site has, what I call, a 'not driven by profits' ethical ethos which means, nothing is ever written unless it is genuinely believed to be the best way to help people save money.

Yet that doesn't mean it doesn't make money. The sheer scale of the site and 1 million users a month, means there is cash, and I like to put as much as I can towards doing some good (after I've paid the MoneySaving team, expenses, and myself).

More info: 'How this site is Funded'
More info: Previous years' charity funds

There are a number of changes this year

Over the years, the size of the fund has grown. Over £100,000 might be donated this year (Oct to Oct) thus there's an opportunity to expand the remit.
  • Only a third of the money is going to the nominated charities. In the past all the money went to the charities. This year the MSE Charity Fund is being set up as a registered charity in its own right. A third of its money will be going to the five nominated charities (four picked by site users and one my own pick).
  • New MSE Charity Fund Specific Projects Grants. The rest of the cash will be available to be distributed at four points during the year as specific grants to charities, indviduals or groups to help educate, inform and empower consumers in the field of money, debt and consumer info. The exact terms of this are still being hacked out, but hopefully you'll get the idea (see my blog on this here). More details when the charity launches (info will be linked to from the weekly email).
What's the process?

A. Site users were asked to nominate.

Any user of the site (which means anyone of course) was able to nominate a charity. There are four charities to get money. One charity www.re-cycle.org is automatically selected as my pick. It's very small, has been part of the charity fund since the beginning and it relies on the cash - so I decided to give it an automatic berth.

To see the original nominations which included over 300 nominations click this link

B. Selected site users drew up a short-list

Five of the site's most regular users (the volunteer board guides) were asked to short-list 12 charities. Many thanks to all of them, it's a hugely difficult task and they did a wonderful job. The following are the criteria they were asked to use when short listing.
  • Relevance: Charities which are relevant to both the subject base and usership of MoneySavingExpert.com will be given priority.
  • National and International: Roughly two thirds of the selection should be UK based charities and one third overseas/international.
  • Six larger and six smaller. To ensure some smaller charities where the money really makes a difference are included, there will be six large and small charities
C. The Vote.

Now I'm asking site users to vote to select the charities (to do so go here). The top two big and two small charities will each be given 20% of the total money available (ie a third of the entire fund). The winners will be announced in the weekly e-mail. It's very difficult to decide which are 'big' and which 'small' charities. Therefore those big national names with larger fundraising bodies have been designated big; other charities small. Apologies if you think they're in the wrong category - we've made the best stab at it possible.

Vote here
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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  • Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Forum Manager Former MSE
    9.6K Posts
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've helped Parliament Rampant Recycler
    Okey doke, this poll's up now :)
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?

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  • So far the results show that the majority of people have voted for Cancer Research.

    This is a charity that is close to my heart (numerous members of my family have suffered or died due to cancer), however, some of the other charities on the list seem to be VERY deserving. Personally, my vote was cast elsewhere. But this was only because I made the effort to read the nominations. I think you should reorder the options so that the more obvious choices are futher down the list to give the smaller charities a chance.
  • The voting list is in alphabetical order with either S or B beside them to indicate if they are considered a big or small charity so I can't see a fairer way of doing it. Also two out of each category will win through so 2 big charities and 2 small charities plus Martin's own nomination.

    Yes sadly cancer touches most of us now either personally or family and will always touch peoples hearts however I am sure users will consider the nominations and have their own criteria on how they chose which one to vote for and so two of the smaller charities will also win their place.

    Personally as I look on the charity fund as being "MSE money" my choice went to a charity that I feel will benefit a lot of MSE users in the long term.

  • pavlovs_dogpavlovs_dog Forumite
    10.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    So far the results show that the majority of people have voted for Cancer Research.

    how do you see the results so far?
    know thyself
    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • Once you have voted you can see the numbers of votes cast :)
  • Coveredinbees!!!!Coveredinbees!!!! Forumite
    3.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I voted for credit action seem the obvious chioce as it a money related website. CAB would have been my second choice.
    Nothing to see here, move along.
  • I voted for credit action seem the obvious chioce as it a money related website. CAB would have been my second choice.

    My thoughts exactly.

    I always feel that the more obvious charities (such as the cancer research/Salvation Army) already get lots of donations by virtue of being, well, obvious. So, IMHO, I would like to see some of the lesser known charities being voted for - but, unfortunately, I don't think this is likely to happen.

    All the charities are worthy, so from that point of view, it doesn't matter who wins, but this is a national site, so I would like to see the money spent on national issues rather than the more local ones. (No offence to Wales/SE England - both are charities I would put money in a collecting box if I were in the area)

    I think Martin deserves a big

    for raising sooo much money through this site.
    7 Angel Bears for LovingHands Autumn Challenge. 10 KYSTGYSES. 3 and 3/4 (ran out of wool) small blanket/large square, 2 premie blankets, 2 Angel Claire Bodywarmers
  • Gingham_RibbonGingham_Ribbon Forumite
    31.5K Posts
    I have cast my vote. Different Strokes. The charity help young people who are affected by stroke. I didn't know until recently that young people could have strokes and I am impressed that this charity gets on and helps people in this position. They also have stroke survivors on the staff which I think is giving just the right message to those going through it.
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
  • While these are all worthy causes, it seems to me that the charity with the most bang for the buck is the one that enables other charities to raise awareness AND funds ie the charity that sets up webpages for other charities to use. Just a thought...
  • All of the charities are extremely deserving, but I'd be more tempted to vote for the smaller ones as whatever share they get of £30K is going to make a huge difference!

    Out of the small charities, I particularly like the sound of Different Strokes - I didn't realise that young people were so susceptible to strokes and this seems to be a pretty good cause to support - and Usable Websites - what a unique idea! Giving away good websites to charities. How many of the smaller charity websites have you gone to where they do nothing to help promote themselves? The ones that this organisation seem to do for their beneficiaries look great!

    Maybe as a gesture, Usable Websites could do new websites for all of the other nominees?
This discussion has been closed.
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