Charities Aid Foundation

Charities Aid Foundation
Charities Aid Foundation
Type Registered Charity
Founded UK, 1974[1]
Headquarters Kings Hill, Kent, UK
Area served Worldwide

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a registered UK charity[2]. Its Head Office is located in the King's Hill business park, West Malling, Kent with a second office in London on St Andrew Street, EC4A 3AY. CAF provides services and assistance to UK and international charities and their donors, as well as to promote donation to charity generally.[3]

In 2009 CAF had income of £327,987,000 and spent £320,424,000 on charitable spending[4].



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 on its current name and form in 1974 when it was spun off from the NCVO as an independent organisation.

Currently it handles over £1 billion a year and employs more than 500 staff.[5]

Key personnel

Patron: HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

President: Sir Brian Garton Jenkins GBE

Chairman: Lord Cairns


Services to charities

CAF offers many services to charities in the UK and abroad, including help with fund raising[6], insurance[7], consultancy[8], and loans and grants[9]

As a registered charity it does not seek to provide a profit and aims to reinvest all funds generated back into the charitable sector.

CAF Bank

CAF owns and operates CAF Bank which offers banking services to UK charities. It aims to provide a better solution to charities than "high street banks" by tailoring services to charities unique needs.

CAF Bank accounts give free day-to-day banking regardless of turnover or balance, and aims to keep charges to a minimum when they are needed[10]. This is different to some UK banks where charities are classed as businesses and have to pay to have an account[11][12].

CAF Bank offers a variety of accounts[13] including CAF Cash, a current account; CAF Gold, a limited-withdrawal savings account; CAF Platinum, a high interest deposit account requiring notice to withdraw; and CAF Fixed Rate Selector, a fixed rate, fixed-term deposit account provided by Birmingham Midshires, a division of Bank of Scotland.

Customers can use online and telephone banking to monitor and use their accounts, however some requests require written instructions[14].

A unique service offered is QuickPay which allows charities to make frequent payments to third parties. Unlike a Direct Debit, QuickPay allows the transfer of irregular amounts and is intended for paying staff salaries and making payments to suppliers quickly.[15]

A 2007 survey[16] showed that CAF bank accounts, specifically designed for smaller charities, give them better interest rates than are available to them in the major banks. Their rates have since fallen[17] following the recent financial crisis however the aim is to raise interest rates as soon as practicable.

CAF Bank Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (register number 204451) and is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service.[18]

Services to corporate donors

CAF operates the Give As You Earn scheme. It advises companies on their charitable donations and assists them to donate in the most tax efficient manner. It also owns the PFO (Professional Fundraising Organisation) Sharing the Caring who organise new fundraising events for companies as well as processing donor forms. Sharing the Caring exist in the same building as CAF in Kings Hill and are the only charitable PFO in the United Kingdom.

CAF run a Company Advisory Service scheme from their London office which is used to make suggestions to companies about charitable work they can do in conjunction with their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and CCI (Corporate Community Investment) projects. CAF can recommend charities from the UK and internationally that best fit the aims of a company, as well as organising volunteering days for employees.

Services to individual donors

CAF operates a Charity Account scheme which allows account holders to donate to charities using vouchers, by phone and on-line. Donations are eligible for tax relief under the Gift Aid rules. Donations may be anonymous and, because payments can only be made to genuine registered charities, the account prevents account holders from accidentally donating to bogus charities.[19]

CAF also advises and assists individual donors who wish to set up trusts or to leave a charitable legacy through their will.

Research and lobbying

CAF conducts research and publishes reports on matters related to charitable donation. It also lobbies governments to encourage support and tax incentives for charities and charitable donation.


  1. ^ CAF History
  2. ^ CAF's Status
  3. ^ CAF Cause & Vision
  4. ^ CAF Annual Report 2009
  5. ^ CAF Cause & Vision
  6. ^ CAF Fundraising Support
  7. ^ CAF Insurance
  8. ^ CAF Consulting
  9. ^ CAF Funding Solutions
  10. ^ CAF Bank
  11. ^;jsessionid=0000WSfI4oPjbiDnQg3RM3VoJzl:12fhlpn84#maincontent HSBC Charges
  12. ^ NatWest Charges
  13. ^ CAF Bank accounts
  14. ^ CAF Bank Online
  15. ^ CAF Bank QuickPay
  16. ^ Sylvia Morris (June 27, 2007). "Bank accounts for charities". Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  17. ^ CAF Bank interest rates
  18. ^ CAF Bank Legal and Regulatory Wording
  19. ^ CAF Charity Accounts

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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