Applying for CAF Donate

Start your fundraising journey with CAF Donate today. We've put together some hints and tips on how to complete the application form.

  • How do I apply for CAF Donate?

    As well as being a registered charity, CAF is also authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that we have to check your charity status and run a few financial checks before you are able to use CAF Donate.

    We do this to ensure that your donor’s information is protected and that their donations are processed safely and securely – so they can give to you with confidence, every time.

    You'll first need to sign up for our reporting tool, CAF Charity Dashboard. Once you've signed up for this you can log into your CAF Charity Dashboard and upgrade to CAF Donate.

    It's easy to sign up for CAF Charity Dashboard.

    Step 1: Sign up online for CAF Charity Dashboard with your charity's details and your personal details.

    Step 2: We’ll send you an email to activate your login details. At the same time we will be in touch with a registered contact at your charity (usually by email) to make sure you are able to accept terms and conditions on behalf of your charity.

    Step 3: As soon as the contact at your charity gives the green light you will get an email from us to let you know you can access your account.

    Upgrading to CAF Donate

    Upgrading to CAF Donate is really simple. Log in to your CAF Charity Dashboard and click on the ‘Upgrade’ button on your homepage. You need to decide whether you would like CAF to manage Gift Aid on your behalf and provide us with the names, addresses and dates of birth of your trustees.

  • I’ve searched for my charity but it is not in the results – what can I do?

    Simply select the option to enter your charity details manually. We may need to ask you for documentation to confirm your charitable status, but we will let you know everything you need to send. 

  • I don’t have a Charity Commission number – can I still apply?

    Yes – as long as your charity is registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or you have been granted exempt status by HMRC, you are welcome to apply. We may need to ask you for documentation to confirm your charitable status, but we will let you know everything you need to send.

  • Can I use CAF Donate if I’m an overseas charity?

    No - CAF Charity Donate is only available for UK-registered charities.

  • Why do I need to provide details of my charity’s Trustees?

    As well as being a registered charity, CAF is also registered for anti-money laundering purposes.

    This means that we need to take a few more steps with our due diligence process – and in the case of CAF Donate, this means asking you for the full names, addresses and dates of birth for all your trustees.

    It might seem like a pain now but it does mean that you can be reassured that we are extremely scrupulous in all our interactions with you and is why CAF is trusted by charities and donors alike.

  • CAF wants to manage Gift Aid for my charity – what does this mean?

    We want you to get the most from every donation – no matter how large or small. CAF Donate helps relieve the burden of admin by automatically checking which donations are eligible, submitting a claim to HMRC, reconciling the money that comes back and settling to your bank account – all without you breaking a sweat. You simply need to appoint us as a partner with HMRC by completing a CHV1 form.

    Don’t worry if you still want to take care of your own Gift Aid – we’ll still give you a report of all the eligible donations for you to generate your own claims.

    We’ll only make claims on the donations we process for you so you will still need to submit claims for donations made through other sources.

  • I’ve already got an account with CAF – do I need another username and password?

    If you already have an account with us, for example a CAF Charity Account, you can use the same username and password for all your other CAF services.

    When you log in, you’ll see a list of all of the services you hold with us, You’ll be able to select an account to manage from the list.

  • Why do I need to provide my bank details?

    It’s our mission to make sure you get your donations as quickly as possible. By giving us your bank details we can make sure donations are with you and ready to use within days, rather than waiting for a cheque to clear.

    Email a copy of your bank statement to The statement should be dated within the last three months, clearly showing your charity's full name, account number and sort code. If the address on the statement differs from your organisation's registered address, please also give a brief explanation for this. Please note that we will only pay donations into bank accounts in your official charity name.

  • Is CAF Donate compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)?
    Yes – CAF Donate fully complies with the new GDPR regulations which are enforceable from the 25th May 2018.

    CAF acts as your Data Processor and we manage the data relating to your donors responsibly and securely. Read more about our role in processing your donations.

    We will report details of your donors choices regarding future contact to you accurately and, as Data Controller, you will need to ensure that you comply with your own privacy policy.

I've got CAF Donate, what now?

Starting with setting up your main campaign page, our support guides will walk you through each step to help you get started with accepting donations through CAF Donate. 

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Design your campaign pages

Setting up your campaign page is the first step to accepting donations through CAF Donate. Follow our step by step guide to set up your campaign page.

Set up your campaign today

Receive donations online

Learn how to add your donation form to your website, as well as a clear 'donate' button, to boost those online donations.

Set up your web donation form
  • What’s an online donation form?

    CAF Donate lets you build online campaign pages with a donation form to accept gifts by Direct Debit, card, PayPal and CAF Accounts on mobile, desktop and Facebook. Every page can be branded with your logo, colours and message so that it looks and feels a part of your own website. 

    Watch our webinar on how to make the most of your donation page.

  • What’s the difference the donation widget and the donation form?

    The widget is a smaller version of the donation form that you can embed within your own web pages.

    This means you can design a specific look to the page – for example, you may choose to set one up for a specific campaign. The widget nestles nicely inside it, feeling like it is one and the same with the page.

    The donation form is great to link to from emails or if your website does not allow you to embed objects.

    With both formats, the donor gets all the same options for donation type and Gift Aid, so it really is down to your own preferences.

  • How can I use email to encourage donations?

    Email is a low-cost way to ask for single or regular donations from your supporters. The next time you create an email campaign, why not add a link to drive donors directly to your CAF Donate donation page?

    Watch our webinar on how to use email to drive your charity’s fundraising.

Processing donations

CAF Donate makes it easier for your organisation to process donations. Our handy guides will help you get money into your account quickly.

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Process credit and debit card donations

Follow our step by step guide below to process one-off donations made by credit or debit card with CAF Donate.

Start processing one-off donations

Process CAF Voucher and CharityCard donations

With CAF Donate you can upload your CAF Charity Vouchers and CAF CharityCard donations quickly and get money into your account within 2 working days.

We make processing easier
  • Why will ‘Charity Donation’ appear on my donor’s bank statement and not my charity’s name?

    CAF Donate Direct Debits is a shared service for charities – this is to keep your costs down and allow charities of all sizes access to what can be a very expensive service. We are aware that the narrative ‘Charity Donation’ on donors’ bank statements can be confusing but we do send either an email or a letter to every new donor confirming their donation and explaining the narrative.

  • Can I upload CAF Vouchers and CAF CharityCards?

    You can upload the details of CAF Vouchers and CAF CharityCards with CAF Donate. We’ll process these payments immediately, which means that your charity will receive donations more quickly than if you send them to us by post. This also saves us time and money, which we can reinvest in the charity sector.

  • My donor has been in touch to say that they are moving bank accounts – what do I do?

    If your donor is using the account switching service offered by banks, all their existing Direct Debits will move automatically to their new account, so you do not have to make any changes to your existing arrangement. If they are simply opening a new account and want to use that instead, you will need to cancel your existing donation and create a new one.

  • I want my donations to go to different bank accounts
    In order to keep costs down we will only pay to one bank account for your charity. CAF Donate gives you the ability to track your donations so you can run some simple reports to help you allocate funds within your organisation.

Direct debit donations 

Find out how to process and amend single and multiple Direct Debit donations with our step by step guides.

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Process single offline Direct Debit donations

Process single Direct Debit payments you've received over the phone or through the post with our step by step guide.

Processing single offline DDs
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Process multiple Direct Debit donations

If you use a call centre or have many offline Direct Debits to process, set up multiple instructions at one time to process them in bulk.

Processing multiple DD donations
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Amend existing Direct Debits

If your donors choose to make a change to their Direct Debit payments, you can amend them easily with CAF Donate.

How to amend DDs
  • How do I set up Direct Debits?

    CAF Donate offers you three easy ways to accept Direct Debits from your supporters:

    Donor's can set up online Direct Debit donations quickly and easily on your charity's website. To give your donors this option, you must set up the CAF Donate donation form on your website. 

    Follow our step by step guide on how to do this. 

    If you collect Direct Debit donations through the post or phone, you can enter the details into your CAF Donate account for processing. 

    Follow our step by step guide on how to process single Direct Debit donations. 

    Multiple or bulk processing 
    Running a telephone fundraising campaign, or simply have lots of Direct Debit donations to upload for processing? You can capture all the new Direct Debit donations into a single, easy to complete spreadsheet which you can then upload in a matter of seconds.

    Follow our step by step guide on how to process multiple Direct Debit donations. 


    Gift Aid is available on Direct Debits too, so you can be confident of getting the most from every donation.

  • How will I know what Direct Debits I have?

    Easy! There are some really useful reports available within CAF Donate which tell you all about your Direct Debit donors:

    All Direct Debit

    This will give you a report showing every Direct Debit that is active for your charity. You will see donors’ information, amounts, frequency, Gift Aid status and any additional tracking information such as campaign codes.

    New Direct Debit Instructions

    Enter a start date and see any new instructions set up since that date. This is useful if you have a welcome programme that you use for memberships or if you want to track your fundraising success.

    Amended/Cancelled Instructions

    Enter a start date and see what changes have been made to existing instructions. If the donation has been cancelled you will see a reason, such as the donor cancelled it at their bank.

    We recommend that you check your New Instructions and the Amended/Cancelled report regularly.


Reporting on your donations is simple, thanks to our Payment and fundraising reports.


A guide to CAF Donate reports

Learn the differences between a CAF Payment report and a CAF Donate fundraising report, and how to download each one.

Discover your reports

CAF Voucher and CharityCard reports

Download your reports to see a breakdown of all the CAF Voucher and CharityCard donations you've uploaded to be processed.

Get started with your donation reports
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Reports glossary

Understand what we mean by the terms found in your CAF Donate reports with our glossary.

Unsure of a term? We can help
  • There seem to be a lot of reports available to me – what are they for?

    We want you to have the best information possible on all your donors and our reports are a great way to find new insight:

    1. Payments reports – whenever we send money to your bank accounts we will create a report showing how much we have sent and how that amount is made up. This report shows you all donations, including GAYE, Matched Giving and CAF Donate
    2. CAF Donate Donations Data – build your own reports to track the performance of your campaigns, find out about your regular givers and check on the status of your Gift Aid claims.
  • What is a CAF Donate fundraising report?

    CAF Donate provides a report designed to allow fundraisers to understand the success of your campaigns. This report will give you the details - such as the campaign, payment type and channel (e.g. online, mobile, Facebook) - so that you can do your own analysis. It will also give you donor details (if the donor hasn’t chosen to remain anonymous) so that you can say thank you.

    This report gives you an indication of the funds that will come to your account in a few days time. To see actual transfers to your bank account, you should download your remittance reports.

  • What is a CAF Payment Report?

    Your CAF Payment Report is quick and easy to use and puts all the information you need about donations to your charity, right at your fingertips.

    You can see all your donations from CAF in one place - from personal donations such as CAF Vouchers through to company donations and payroll giving.

    The comprehensive donor details provides you with all the data you need to reconcile your payments and understand your donors, with a new date range selector allowing you to download several months of data in .CSV format and transfer into your own internal database.

Managing your account

We understand the importance of helping you to keep your account and donors' information safe - by helping you to manage your user admin.

  • What if our Web Administrator leaves?
    Your Web Administrator(s) takes care of the day-to-day fundraising and donation processing for your CAF Donate account.

    As soon as a Web Administrator leaves, you will need to remove the access of that individual to your CAF Donate account. You can do this by:

    - writing to us on charity headed paper signed by an authorised signatory of the charity, or
    - contacting us by email from the charity’s domain, or
    - asking your Web Administrator to contact us by email.
  • How can I add another Web Administrator?
    If you would like to add a new Web Administrator for your CAF Donate account, they must first register by filling in the online form.

    If this person has a CAF account login already, he or she can skip this step and proceed to setting up Web Administrator access.

Next steps

Donations tools: CAF Donate

CAF Donate makes taking donations easier. Use it to set up online donation pages, process Direct Debits, manage postal/phone donations, and much more.

Fundraising tools, tips and resources

Our fundraising tools, tips, and resources are here to help charities reach more donors, generate more income and impact more lives.


Whatever your size, we provide solutions for funding and financing your charity's needs.