National disability charity United Response has launched Give Where You Live, a new interactive website designed to help members of the public donate time or money to their local community and see the results in a transparent way. Give Where You Live is one of 9 projects awarded funding by Nesta, a body which supports innovation and is funded by the Cabinet Office. The website was developed over 5 months.

Give Where You Live was created in response to several challenges facing the charity sector. One of these is increasing financial pressure, partly due to the general public having less disposable income and partly due to local authorities having less money to fund public services.

At the same time, reports show the public has lost confidence in many charities, which makes them less likely to donate. A recent study by New Philanthropy Capital suggests that Britons would give an extra £700m a year if they could see the impact their donations were having. The study says charities need to show more evidence for their effectiveness and greater clarity on how money is spent in order to win greater confidence. At the same time, many givers are keen to support charities closer to home, in order to see the results of their fundraising.

To meet these challenges, Give Where You Live will make fundraising more transparent and community focused – bringing giving to a grassroots level.  The charity is launching it as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, determined to use its greater profile during this time to bring about positive change.

The website lets users key in their location and choose how and where they want to give. Options including donating money to an item on a "wish list" compiled by a local United Response project. It works a bit like a wedding gift list, but with the opportunity to buy vital equipment or donate towards a local project that makes a real difference to people’s lives. In addition, people can donate their time by searching for projects or individuals who need a helping hand in their local community. This could include buddying up with someone with learning disabilities to share activities or a skill or getting involved in grassroots activities and events in the community.

Su Sayer CBE, chief executive of United Response, says: “While we want to enjoy our 40th anniversary and celebrate the progress we’ve made during that time, we are also looking to the future and adapting to the ever-changing environment we work in. As times get tougher we need to find new and innovative ways to meet rising demand for our services. Give Where You Live will allow people around the country to work out what they can offer, whether time or money, and make sure that it has an impact close to home.”

Su added: “Much of the population is keen to lend a hand to a local charity, and of course many can’t always afford to donate money. Give Where You Live taps into the generosity of people who want to make a difference and give something back to their community.”


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