About us

EQ Foundation is a registered charitable institution that receives funding from the EQ Investors Group and other related parties. It’s donated over £600,000 since 2015 to a number of registered charities. Further details here

Please note that we are not currently accepting unsolicited applications for funding as we are concentrating on our existing relationships.

Download our guide to better giving

Finding good charities is really difficult. Our free guide sets out some of the pitfalls, with handy tips on what to look out for.

Giving is Great

We want to help individual donors make better decisions about their giving. In our experience, most people give money reactively, in response to an ‘ask’ and never really feel comfortable with their decision. So we’ve looked at some of the principles that work when selecting investments to provide a basis for making better selections.

“Best thing I’ve ever seen in this field, without a doubt” Andy Cook, chief executive, Centre for Social Justice, founder of Twenty Twenty

One way to fasttrack the search process is to look at charities that have passed the selection criteria set by top grant makers like the Big Lottery, Comic Relief and Esmee Fairbairn.

We’ve gathered data from the UK Charities Commission covering all registered charities and 360 Giving for details of major donations (usually £10,000 or more) to allow you to see who is being supported and by whom. You can tailor your search based on the number of different donors they have attracted and by their size

Try it now.

Tips for choosing effective charities

Engage your brain, as well as your heart

You are unlikely to give away hard earned savings unless your heart is touched by a cause. But your experience will be much deeper if you can also satisfy yourself that the organisation is really effective. Most people struggle to do this, due to lack of time and experience. As a result they often rely on prejudices. We want the most effective charities to attract a bigger share of donations, rather than those with the biggest fund raising budgets.

Stop worrying about overheads

It’s perfectly understandable to be worried about efficiency but analysing overheads is often a misleading way of evaluating this. Charities can save money by cutting corners but in the longer run that will reduce impact. Evidence produced by Caroline Fiennes based on US charities indicates that there is actually a POSITIVE correlation between admin costs and effectiveness. Focus on the ability of the management team, then trust them to spend wisely.

Look at who else is supporting

In the UK we are fortunate to have many highly professional grant making charities. They are inundated with requests for funding, so they are able to pick and choose the best. Use our search tools to find the most supported charities. If you are asked to support a charity that has failed to attract any funding from these organisations, just ask: Why?

Early intervention pays dividends

In the long run it’s much cheaper to build a fence at the top of a cliff than provide an ambulance when people fall over. Re-election priorities often discourage politicians from funding programmes that do not produce results before the next poll but that provides an opportunity for charities to take the long term approach by intervening early.

Look for Matched Giving opportunities

Matched giving happens when someone else promises to top up your donation. It’s valuable for two reasons: it means that the value of your donation is increased and that someone else is sufficiently confident in the programme to provide the matching. A great example is the Big Give Christmas Challenge.

Donations go further in the developing world

For example in Africa:

  • Less than 50p can provide a deworming treatment that will massively improve a child’s quality of life
  • Less than £50 restores sight to a blind person
  • Less than £4,000 saves a life by providing mosquito nets, as well as improving life prospects for many others.
High profile disaster appeals rarely offer the best value

Tragic though these are, in the overall scale of human deprivation disasters are relatively minor. Every day, on average, more than 15,000 children aged under 5 die and most of these deaths are preventable. If you ARE tempted to support disaster appeals then first check out fts.unocha.org to see which are most in need of funding.

Where’s the evidence about impact?

It’s an appalling indictment of the Third Sector that few charities can tell you objectively what impact they are achieving. Not only does that make your donation feel less useful, it also makes it near impossible to manage the organisation. Ask for an Impact Report. If it doesn’t exist, be aware that they can’t know if they are being as effective as possible!

Impact report