|Headquarters||Kings Hill, Kent, UK|
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a registered UK charity. CAF provides services and assistance to UK and international charities and their donors, and promotes general donation to charities. Its head office is located in the Kings Hill business park, West Malling, Kent with a second office in London on St Bride Street, EC4A 4AD.
In 1924 the National Council of Social Service set up a Charities Department to encourage efficient giving to charity. This department was later renamed the Charities Aid Fund while the National Council of Social Service became the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). The Charities Aid Foundation took its current name in 1974 when it was spun off from the NCVO as an independent organisation. Its projects include the CAF Venturesome, a high-risk investment fund, and Charity Bank, which became independent in 2002.
CAF owns and operates CAF Bank which offers banking services to UK charities. Products include current accounts, free online banking including dual authorisation, term loans, development funding, working capital facilities, overdraft facilities and cashflow funding. On 17 October 2016 CAF will be changing their terms and conditions, including introducing a £5 monthly charge for every cash account held.
It was the first bank to offer its services exclusively to not-for-profit organisations. CAF Bank Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service.
CAF also owns and operates CAF Donate, an online donation processing platform giving charities the tools to fundraise through the web, mobile devices and Facebook and process donations received by post and phone. In 2016 CAF announced that the platform had processed over £50 million in donations to 2,300 charities.
CAF supplies financial services to 1,250 charities (in 2017) and its profile has increased as US/UK anti money laundering rules has threatened existing charity bank accounts because they are considered high risk.
CAF Company Accounts enable companies to give tax effectively and to donate safely to any charitable organisation around the world.
CAF operates a Charity Account scheme, a system which acts like a current account for charitable giving. The account allows account holders to donate to charities through a personal account, by phone, post or online and can be opened with a minimum of £10. Donations are eligible for tax relief under the Gift Aid rules. Donations may be anonymous and, because payments can only be made to registered charities, the account prevents account holders from donating to bogus charities. Financial journalist Martin Lewis uses a Charity Account to hold the £10 million he pledged to charity following the sale of MoneySavingExpert.com
CAF releases an annual global report of generosity, entitled the World Giving Index, that ranks most countries in the world across three measures - helping a stranger, donating money, and volunteering.