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Sending money to overseas charities

in Charities
4 replies 42 views
Hi there, our daughter has recently raised £220 through busking and would like it to be split equally between the Lebanese Food Bank and Biet El Baraka, two charities in Beirut who are supporting the city after their explosion.
If I sent the money through my bank (Santander) they will charge me a flat rate of £25 per transaction.
I believe Western Union and The Post Office are a lot cheaper (£1.99? per transaction) but I don't know if there will be other hidden costs from either/or both sides.
I am a bit of a techno novice but yesterday managed to download the pagofx (Santander) app to make use of their free money transfers only to find they don't deal with sending money to Lebanon. 
The Lebanese Food Bank does have a donate page but there again it was a matter of typing in how much you wished to give and pressing the 'donate now' button - there's no mention of fees attached which is a bit worrying.
Has anybody any advice please?    Ideally I want to send money to both of these charities without incurring any or minimal costs.
If I can walk into somewhere to do the transaction even better, if not I will have to overcome my incompentence and do it online.
Thanking you in advance.


  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I think it's unlikely that you can do this without incurring any costs: for example I had a quick look at the Lebanese Food Bank and it was asking how much you wanted to donate in either US$ or Lebanese£. 

    And having a quick look at Western Union, it says "Recipients in Lebanon are subject to a 2% cash handling fee which will be collected by agents from the principal amount at payout." Post Office also uses Western Union, so I'd imagine that would be the same. 

    There are other Forex options, but for simplicity I'd say go for WU or PO, or ask the charities if they have any preferences. 
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    If you find a UK registered charity (eg Save the Children's emergency fund) you can gift aid this so the charity gets income tax on top.  Not the charities she chose, but maybe worth considering.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    Can you communicate with the two chosen charities? If so, ask them whether they are supported by any UK-registered charities (such as Oxfam, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief...): the answer will almost certainly be 'yes'. You could then make a gift-aid donation to the UK charity asking for your donation to be forwarded to the two partners.
  • edited 10 September 2020 at 3:24AM
    Jenna_AppleseedJenna_Appleseed Forumite
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    edited 10 September 2020 at 3:24AM
    Don't know if it's legit but this site seems to let you donate to the Lebanese Food Bank with paypal in GBP/£ via another organisation
    eta: main page says they're also supporting Biet El Baraka,
    "And suddenly I find myself listening to a man I've never known before,
    Telling me about the sea..."
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