Charities Aid Foundation


Charities Aid Foundation
TypeRegistered Charity
FoundedUK, 1974[1]
HeadquartersKings Hill, Kent, UK
Area served

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a registered UK charity.[2] CAF provides services and assistance to UK and international charities and their donors, and promotes general donation to charities.[3] 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 provides services to charities, businesses and individuals in the UK and abroad, including help with fund raising,[4] consultancy,[5] and loans and grants.[6]

Services to charities

CAF owns and operates CAF Bank which offers banking services to UK charities. Products include current accounts, free online banking including dual authorisation,[7] 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.[8]

It was the first bank to offer its services exclusively to not-for-profit organisations.[9] CAF Bank Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority[10] and is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service.[11]

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.[12][13][14] In 2016 CAF announced that the platform had processed over £50 million in donations to 2,300 charities.[15][16]

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.[17]

Services to businesses

CAF Give As You Earn (GAYE) is the most popular payroll giving scheme in the UK,[18] helping around 2,700 companies and 200,000 staff to give over £70 million to charity each year.[19]

CAF Company Accounts enable companies to give tax effectively and to donate safely to any charitable organisation around the world.[20]

CAF also produce an annual report examining corporate giving by the FTSE 100.[21]

Services to individual donors

CAF operates a Charity Account scheme, a system which acts like a current account for charitable giving.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] Financial journalist Martin Lewis uses a Charity Account to hold the £10 million he pledged to charity following the sale of[25]

World Giving Index

CAF releases an annual global report of generosity, entitled the World Giving Index,[26] that ranks most countries in the world across three measures - helping a stranger, donating money, and volunteering.

Giving Tuesday

CAF are responsible for the UK arm of Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving.[27]

Awards & Accreditation

CAF is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the UK's deposit guarantee scheme.[28]


  1. ^ "Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) - Charity Giving Made Simple".
  2. ^ "Charity overview". Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Directory of charities and suppliers - Charities Aid Foundation". Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Sorry – the page you are looking for has been removed" – via The Guardian.
  5. ^ "Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) - Charity Giving Made Simple".
  6. ^ "Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) - Charity Giving Made Simple".
  7. ^ Foundation, Charities Aid. "CAF Bank offers model for banking to make big societal impact". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  8. ^ "CAF Bank | ACEVO". Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  9. ^ "CAF Bank Ltd | BBA". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Financial Conduct Authority". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) - Charity Giving Made Simple".
  12. ^ Foundation, Charities Aid. "CAF Donate: breaking down the barriers to direct debit fundraising". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  13. ^ Lake, Howard (26 June 2014). "CAF creates online Direct Debit platform for smaller charities". UK Fundraising. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Charity fundraising news - CAF launches online donations service for small and medium charities". Civil Society | Fundraising. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  15. ^ May, Melanie (4 March 2016). "CAF Donate raises £50m for charity in under two years". UK Fundraising. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Charity fundraising news - CAF direct debit platform passes £50m raised for good causes since launch". Civil Society | Fundraising. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  17. ^ Tims, Anna (8 May 2017). "Banks accused of putting lives at risk as charity accounts are shut without notice". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  18. ^ "List of approved Payroll Giving agencies - GOV.UK". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  19. ^ "University Administration Services" (PDF).
  20. ^ "Charities Aid Foundation Retail Charity Bond 5% due 2026 - Retail Charity Bonds". Retail Charity Bonds. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Charity fundraising news - Report: 'Corporate Giving by the FTSE 100'". Civil Society | Fundraising. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Charities Aid Foundation | European Foundation Centre". European Foundation Centre. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Giving to Charity | Gift Aid | CAF". Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  24. ^ "Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) - Charity Giving Made Simple".
  25. ^ Lewis, Martin. "What happened to the £10m (now £20m) I promised to donate to charity?". Martin Lewis' Blog... Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  26. ^ Greenhalgh, Hugo; Correspondent, Wealth (10 November 2015). "English-speaking nations dominate top of charitable giving index". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  27. ^ Lake, Howard Lake (15 October 2015). "Ideas for making more of Giving Tuesday". UK Fundraising. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  28. ^ "About CAF Bank". Charities Aid Foundation. Retrieved 23 March 2018.

External links

  • CAF On Line