Do you want to round up your bill and donate to some charity?

I was quite surprised that, paying at the supermarket yesterday, I was asked if I wanted to round up my bill and donate to some charity?

I have just handed the cashier £80 for a £62 something bill, and had no idea if she meant round up to £63, £65, £70, £80 or what and was, to be honest, fooled by the question.

I said "no", but obviously that makes me look like a meany infront people I was with. I am sure that is the whole idea to guilt people in to handing over money.

There are, of course, many good causes who may deserve charity, but anyone trying to guilt me in to handing over money just puts me off. After all, it is not like I don't give a shit load to the government to make everyone's life easier one way or another.

What I was kicking myself for was that the obvious retort only came to me a minute later as I was walking away. This is always the way, isn't it?

I should have asked if they would like to round down my bill and I'll send what I save to a charity. That would put them on the spot and having to say "no" and I could say how "uncharitable" they were.

I'll decide when, who and how much I give to charity and not because I am bullied in to it at a supermarket till, thank you.


  1. I believe (i.e. I don't know if it is true) that the "donations" via companies (supermarkets, a certain pizza delivery chain etc) are actually donated as if they came from the company and therefore grants the company tax relief as a corporate donation. So you donate £1, the charity get £1 and the company saves 20p in tax for minimal effort.

  2. I remember opening a bank account where they had set up giving my pennies to charity at the end of each year. I had to click a box hidden deep in the terms and conditions to stop it.

    I shall be ready with your "How about rounding down?" retort at the supermarket.

  3. Much better is to donate to the charity directly and fill in a Gift Aid form for them. If you are a taxpayer you give £1 and the charity claims back an extra 20p which is amount you paid in basic rate tax on that money.

    Even better if you are a higher rate tax payer as I am (and I'm sure the Rev must be) you can then add the Gift Aid amount to your tax return and it increases the size of your 20% tax allowance by the amount you donated, hence you pay less higher rate 40% tax. So the final cost to you is 80p but the charity gets £1.20.

    (And if I've got the percentage arithmetic slightly wrong I apologise, it's 01.15AM and I've spent all evening reconfiguring my home network so I'm a bit frazzled.)

  4. I refuse to be guilt-tripped into any sort of giving-to-charity. *I* will decide who I give to, and it isn't based on who happens to ask me on the streets (or in the supermarket, as in this case). And I don't care how worthy the begging person thinks their cause is!

    I wonder if I should print out some cards to hand out, saying: "Just because *you* feel strongly about a cause, it doesn't mean *I* should give money to it" ?

    Similarly, signing petitions. I was once insulted on the street by a woman who wanted me to sign a petition on some topic or other, and was decidedly nasty when I said No!



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