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Supporting Charities

Where does DUCK's money go?

DUCK has a Giving Strategy which lays out our criteria for choosing which charities to support. Ultimately, DUCK’s Giving Strategy is guided by our Giving Statement: 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.

It is part of the Charities Officer’s role to research each charity that DUCK works with in order to ensure that the charity in question fulfils the criterion of DUCK’s Giving Strategy. This means that DUCK only works with and supports sustainable and worthwhile charities, so students who fundraise for DUCK can feel confident that their money is being used in the best possible way.

The Charities Officer also chooses the three recommended charities which are presented as options for students who take part in fundraising events such as jailbreak or tough guy. DUCK always recommends one international, one national and one local charity. The Charities Officer will try to choose a mixture of causes so that there is a recommended charity for everyone. However, if students do not wish to support DUCK’s recommended charity then they are always free to choose their own.

How our events support charities

Different kinds of events support charities in different ways. Here’s an insight into how our various events support various national and international charities:


Sometimes we work alongside large charities to raise money for campaigns such as Children In Need, Comic Relief, World AIDs Day, or the Poppy Appeal. This means that all the money raised goes directly to that charity or fundraising body.

Other events also raise money for a specific charity, and the event itself may be linked to the charity that is being supported. For example, we 'Sleep Out' in the cathedral in order to raise money for a local homelessness charity, Moving On Durham.

Sometimes events raise money for a specific charity which is not thematically linked to the event itself – for example, last year’s Durham DUCK Race raised money for TreeTops Children’s Ward in University Hospital North Durham, and The Against Malaria Foundation.

Challenge and Endurance Events:

Most challenge and endurance events, such as Tough Guy, Jailbreak, Skydive, Bungee Jump and Formally Lost, offer participating students three carefully researched recommended charities as well as the chance to choose their own charity.


Rag Raids (street collections) are always in aid of a specific charity; usually one that is popular and well-known, because members of the public are more likely to donate to a cause that they know about and recognise.


Normally we offer marathon places in aid of specific charities; this is because those charities apply for places on the marathon and then DUCK secures a certain number of these places for Durham students. However, sometimes we are able to offer open marathon places, and in this case three recommended charities will be presented, as well as the option for students to choose their own charity.

International Expeditions:

Expedition participants are required to raise money for the specific charity that their expedition supports. These are international charities, and participants will typically spend some time volunteering with the charity during their expedition. More information can be found on the expeditions page.

The DUCK Fund and the Allocation Process:

Any money raised just for ‘DUCK’ is placed in a central fund, which is then distributed to a range of local charities. These charities apply for a grant of up to £1000 in order to fund a specific project or need. Only local charities are eligible to apply; this is part of DUCK’s commitment to ‘giving back’ to the local community.

If you would like to be part of the panel that assesses Allocations Fund applications, please email the Charities Officer:

For further information please contact our Charities Officer, Katie Avis, by emailing