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Our Giving Strategy


When considering which charities to support DUCK prioritises those which make the maximum impact in the lives of those who need it most. We understand that different programs aim for different sorts of results and we do not hold to a single universal rule for determining what specific ‘impact’ we are looking for. Ultimately, we support charities which run relatively inexpensive yet highly effective and sustainable programmes, thus successfully fulfilling a demonstrable need in the world.

Please note, during the Allocations Process this criteria is restricted to charities working within a fifty mile radius of Durham and/or Teesside; this is part of DUCK’s commitment to supporting the local community.

In order to ensure that we support the best charities in accordance with our Giving Statement, DUCK adheres to the following criteria, in priority order:

  1. We are open-minded about the charities that we support. DUCK will consider any application or cause. If a charity is working to fulfil a genuine need and improve lives, then the race, age, gender or ethnicity of the people being helped is irrelevant; DUCK considers every human life to be of equal value.
  2. Suitability to our Events and Fundraising Potential. When we decide whether or not to work with a charity, DUCK must consider which type of fundraising activity would be most effective for each individual charity. Sometimes charities come to us with a ready-made idea or project, which can be very helpful. However, if this style of fundraiser doesn’t suit us (for example, if it takes place outside of term time or just wouldn’t interest our student demographic) then we may decide not to support that event, purely because we don’t think enough money will be raised to make it worthwhile. Similarly, some charities are very popular amongst our students, and we may choose to support them on occasions – for example, on rag raids - because we know that more money will be raised than if we supported a smaller, lesser known charity. This is not to say that we never support smaller charities, only to emphasise that we must always consider which events when paired with which charities are likely to raise the most money. If we think a particular charity deserves funding then we will find a way to accommodate them, but suitability to types of fundraising is a key practical consideration. For more information about how we support small local charities in particular, please visit our Allocations Process page on this website.
  3. We give to charities which can provide evidence of their positive impact on people's lives. We want charities to make a case that what they do works, and works more effectively than other organizations which have similar goals. The best charities will rigorously test their programmes, monitor outcomes and make changes were applicable. They will have experts in their management committees and board of trustees, ensuring that their programmes are carried out in the most cost-effective way in order to achieve the best possible results. We ask questions such as: how many people have benefited from the work of this charity? What would have been the likely outcome for such people if the charity had not carried out its projects? Does the charity follow up its work and ensure that the projects continue to be sustainable and successful?
  4. Transparency and accountability. The charities that DUCK works with must be willing to share enough in-depth information about their work that we can assess them on the above criteria. We favour charities which provide clear statistics and information on their websites, demonstrating exactly how our money will be spent. We use this information to assess cost-effectiveness, and also to ensure that the charities we support minimise administration costs and do not pay excessive salaries or bonuses to staff.
  5. We are proactive. Although many charities contact DUCK asking to work with us or applying for funds, we also conduct our own research and contact charities which we think could benefit from our support. If DUCK only gives to the charities which contact us, then we are arbitrarily rewarding the most proactive charities, and overlooking many others which could benefit from our support.
  6. We love to see progress. DUCK stays in the contact with the charities that it supports – we like to see evidence of progress and change, ensuring that our donation was spent in the way that we intended and that the outcome was as we had hoped. This also helps us to decide whether we wish to continue working with the same charities in the future.
  7. We consider ‘capacity for more funding’. An organization which has capacity for more funding will have a pressing need for money such that additional donations will allow it to expand services and maximise impact in the immediate future. A charity that does not have capacity for more funding may already have enough money in the bank such that our donation will only grow an already-safe level of reserves, or it may have another regular source of income/funding which fulfils its needs. Alternatively, the organization may be so small that money isn’t the bottleneck to expansion, and it can’t effectively expand even with more money.