accessibility & help

Making a donation

If you have any queries about donating to the British Red Cross then please email us at supportercare@redcross.org.uk or ring 0300 456 11 55.

1. Can I ensure my money goes to a particular country or project?

2. Why can't I sponsor an individual child, family or hospital?

3. Can I donate blankets, clothing or food for those affected by disasters?

4. Why do you prefer people to make regular gifts rather than one-off donations?

5. Can I set up a Direct Debit online?

6. Why should I set up a Direct Debit and not a Standing Order? What is the difference?

7. Is making a credit card donation online secure?

8. Is making an online donation by direct debit secure?

1. Can I ensure my money goes to a particular country or project?

With the exception of large-scale emergencies, we usually ask for donations to our general funds because it gives us the greatest flexibility in allocating funds where and when they are most needed. Although it is sometimes possible to restrict your donation to a particular country, this can limit the effectiveness of our planning. If you do want to support a particular area, please check the donate now section or call our Supporter Care line on 0300 456 11 55, to see what appeals we are running.

2. Why can't I sponsor an individual child, family or hospital?

Due to the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, we do not undertake this type of fundraising, which targets individual beneficiaries. Our mission is to help all people in crisis in the communities we serve, regardless of age, race, religion, gender or political beliefs.

3. Can I donate blankets, clothing or food for those affected by disasters?

Very often the cost of transporting a "free" donation from the UK is more than the total value of the donation itself.

For example: if you purchased a food parcel for us it would cost you £35.00. If you donated the money for us to purchase the same parcel on your behalf, it would cost us £8.00.

Donated goods may also not be appropriate and will often need sorting and cleaning. Financial donations enable us to help more people, more efficiently.

Without money, we cannot carry out an effective emergency response. Money can be instantly transferred and converted into whatever is most needed, anywhere in the world. It allows us to use our strong purchasing power to benefit the maximum number of people and to adjust our response very rapidly to changing needs and priorities in the affected country.

When responding to an emergency, whenever possible the Red Cross will buy the items we need in the affected country or in the region. This benefits the local economy (by helping local markets and traders) and allows us to take into account local tastes, traditions and culture. Local purchasing also helps us reduce transport costs and speed up delivery times.

For this reason, the British Red Cross only accepts donated goods for resale in the UK, through our chain of shops. You can also find your nearest shop by entering your postcode in the 'Near you' search box.

4. Why do you prefer people to make regular gifts rather than one-off donations?

Long-term donations are more cost effective. They enable us to plan for the future and ensure money is available where it is needed most. Regular gifts mean a consistent, predictable income so we can plan and budget better and, therefore, be more efficient. They give us the security and confidence to react to situations as they arise and the income to carry on with our work whether issues are receiving media coverage or not. More of your money goes to our work as they generate less administration and carry cheaper bank charges.

There are also benefits for you - the donor. Once you have set up a regular gift, we do not have to write to you so often to ask for your support. You can spread your donations over a period of time, so you pay less each month. A regular gift also provides you with the reassurance that you are actively helping to improve the lives of people all over the world and here in the UK, in the long term.

5. Can I set up a Direct Debit online?

Yes, you can set up a regular gift for the amount of your choice here. You can also, email us,  send us a form in the post or telelphone on 0300 456 11 55.

6. Why should I set up a Direct Debit and not a Standing Order? What is the difference?

Direct Debits involves less administration, so they are cheaper - and less work - for us and for you. Also, Standing Orders do not offer the flexibility to change the value of your gift by telephone, since you will always need to complete a new form.

7. Is making a credit card donation online secure?

Making an online donation on our website www.redcross.org.uk is completely safe. When you make a donation your web browser connects to a specially set-up secure server. Any personal information you enter onto our online donation pages (including credit or debit card number, name and address) is 'encrypted' before being sent to our card payment processor, WorldPay. WorldPay store your information in a carefully controlled environment using industry standard practices.

The British Red Cross is fully committed to protecting the security of your data and neither our staff nor volunteers have access to your card details. For more information on the steps we take to protect your privacy, please visit our privacy page.

'encrypted' - Encryption is a process which takes the words and figures you type and converts them into bits of code that are then securely transmitted over the Internet. Your information is stored on secure servers using industry standard 1024 SSL encryption.

8. Is making an online donation by direct debit secure?

Making an online donation by Direct Debit is also completely safe. Any personal information you enter onto our online Direct Debit pages (including bank account details, name and address) is encrypted before being sent to us, and recorded on secure servers operated by our e-commerce partner, Eduserv. Eduserv store your information in a carefully controlled environment using industry standard practices. Your details are passed securely from Eduserv to fundraising staff at the British Red Cross for processing.

The Direct Debit Guarantee (from August 09):

  • This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits.

  • If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit the British Red Cross will notify you 10 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request the British Red Cross to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.

  • If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the British Red Cross or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society.

    - If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when the British Red Cross asks you to.

  • You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.

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0300 456 11 55

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