Being rewarded for your hard work should make you feel good – and you might be considering doing good for others with the money you’ve been given.

Donating part, or all, of your bonus to charity is not only a really worthwhile act of philanthropy; it can also be a tax-effective way to give.

However, you need to make wise decisions now, before you give, in order to ensure that you make the most of your donation and feel confident that your giving is informed and matches your intentions.

If you’re interested in gifting your bonus to charity, here’s our guide to ensuring your donation has the most impact.


A simple way to give is to make a one-off donation. Our charity search can help you to find a cause which you feel strongly about. We’d recommend you research the charity to make sure that it’s relevant, sustainable, well-managed and can offer a positive change to those they support using the money you give. Our guide to charitable giving can help if you need more information.

Once you’ve decided who to give to, you can make a donation by credit or debit card, PayPal, CAF Charity Account or CAF Charitable Trust, safe in the knowledge that we’ve validated the organisation to ensure your gift is going to a charitable project.

These donations can also benefit you financially as they are tax deductible. If you are a higher rate tax payer who completes a self-assessment tax return you’ll be able to claim for your charity donation. This means that you will recoup 25p in tax relief for every £1 you have donated. This could have a significant impact upon your tax liability and is a legitimate way of not only reducing your tax payments but helping others at the same time.



For some people, bonuses are given as shares. You can donate shares to charity in one of two ways:

1 Sell the shares and then give the proceeds of the sale to charity. That donation can be made immediately or the money you make can be put into a CAF Charitable Trust and gifted at a later date. This is hugely tax-efficient as you can get relief on any Capital Gains Tax that you might have been liable to pay and can also claim Income Tax relief on the fair market value of the shares.

2 If they're listed on the Stock Exchange you can donate your shares to a charity of your choice allowing them to reap the benefits of any increase in value over time. 


If you want to give, but can’t decide who to donate to right now, setting up a CAF Charitable Trust lets you create a charitable fund today and gift money or support to charities or social investment initiatives at a later date. Doing this gives you time to create a long-term giving plan, while still having the convenience to make ad hoc donations when you want. Our team of experts can guide you through it and a CAF Charitable Trust can be set up in less than half an hour.


It may be that you don’t yet know how much your bonus is going to be. If that’s the case, you could make a giving pledge right now. Tell family, friends and colleagues of your intention to donate some, or all, of your bonus to charity. It’s not a binding agreement, but the more people you tell the more likely you are to follow through on your promise!

If you want to talk to someone about how to get the most from your philanthropy, our specialist advisors can support you every step of the way, from talking you through your strategy to helping you with your research. Call us on 03000 123 028 or complete our online form to arrange a meeting or an informal chat.


Why do people give?

Have you ever wondered why people make charitable donations? We’ve got the inside info on why people give.

CAF Charitable Trust

A flexible and tax-effective way to manage and maximise your long-term giving.

CAF American Donor Fund

If you pay tax in the UK and US, and you're looking for a tax-effective way to make an impression with your philanthropy, we can help.