Sign up to website for free Government money

GIVE money to a good cause, and the sum will be doubled - that’s the pledge the Government is making for a scheme endorsed by Sussex Community Foundation.

The charitable organisation, which works to raise funds for local charities and community groups in the Horsham district and across Sussex, is promoting its website to make it simple to donate.

From March 1, the Government has promised to match donations made to local charities and community groups through the website, up to a maximum of £375,000 across the UK.

Already 42 Sussex groups are using the Foundation’s Local Giving website as a key tool in their fundraising and more than £22,000 has been given in Sussex since it was launched in the autumn of 2011.

Pulborough Cricket Club, along with four other Sussex charities, benefited from the scheme in the Government’s Christmas Match Fund when they raised £2,160.

Club treasurer Maurice Woolgar said: “We registered with just a month before the Christmas Match Fund and we got a lot more than we bargained for.

“Apart from the benefit of receiving donations online, the site has provided us with the opportunity to advertise for volunteers, reach a wider audience and put a direct link to our website on the web page.

“The Christmas Match Fund was brilliant! Where else can we achieve such a Match Fund with Gift Aid sorted out for us without form filling.”

Any community group can apply to join the site, including those which are not register charities. The March Match Challenge is the second time to government has offered to match donations made through

Chief executive of Sussex Community Foundation, Kevin Richmond, said: “More and more people are choosing to give to charities online, but there is a real danger that smaller charities will miss out on this giving revolution.

“We have set up to make sure that every charity can raise funds online and everyone can support their local community by giving to the causes they care about.

“Every group online is vetted by Sussex Community Foundation and because donations come through us, every donation is eligible for Gift Aid.”

John Peel, chairman of the foundation, added: “Local charities are the lifeblood of our communities and even very small donations can make a massive difference.

“This Government Match Funding is a great opportunity to inspire local people to support local causes, I urge everyone in Sussex to go online on the March 1 and make sure as much of this Government money as possible goes to support your community.”