Larger donations

ME Research UK is grateful for all donations – large and small – in aid of our work. Every donation is cherished and used to inform, influence and invest in ME research globally.

The charity is also aware that some individuals may wish to donate a larger sum safe in the knowledge that it will be used wisely by a charity which has been in existence since 2000 and which has scientific rigour and financial probity at its very heart.

Scientific rigour and financial probity are the twin strands which thread through our organisation and could be considered the DNA which made us the charity we are today.

These strands explain how we act as a charity:

  • We only fund projects which are based on sound science and where proposals have been peer-reviewed and recommended for funding by our Science Advisory Committee.
  • We only fund projects when we have ‘money in the bank’ to pay for the research to which we’ve committed.
  • We concentrate on providing free, impartial, objective and trustworthy comment on research worldwide to inform all.

Our origins help explain why we act as we do, and it is a formula which has served us well over the years. It is a story that we are happy to tell to all those who put their faith in us – be they researchers, fundraisers, supporters or those affected by the illness. It is how we have funded all our work thus far and how, with your support, we intend growing into the future.

Charitable donations can also be uniquely tax-efficient ways to give and in tax-planning.

Donations to charities carry significant tax advantages, but you should seek independent advice on how any donation may affect your financial position. ME Research UK cannot provide tax or wealth advice but would be happy to speak to you about ways to support the charity in an enhanced way.

Gift Aid

UK tax-payers can increase the value of their gift by allowing us to claim Gift Aid. This could increase your gift by an additional 25%. Please note that you must have paid income or capital gains tax on the amount of Gift Aid claimed in the tax year you made your donation.

If you are a higher rate taxpayer, then you can claim back the difference between the higher rate and basic rate tax on the value of your donation via your tax return. For a 40% rate taxpayer, that means for every £1 you donate, you can claim back 25p in tax relief.

Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax

According to HMRC, you do not have to pay tax on land, property or shares donated to charities. Tax relief is available on both Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax, but you must keep records of the gift and the charity’s receipt of it. 

You can pay less Income Tax by deducting the value of your donation from your total taxable income. This is done for the tax year (6 April to 5 April) in which you made the gift or sale to charity via a self-assessment tax return (by adding the amount in the ‘Charitable giving’ section of the form) or if you do not complete a tax return, by writing to HMRC with details of the gift or sale and your tax relief amount. You’ll either get a refund, or your tax code will be changed so you pay less Income Tax for that tax year.

Capital Gains Tax relief

Generally, donors do not have to pay Capital Gains Tax on land, property or shares given to charity as the gifts are treated on a no gain/no loss basis. This applies even where the charity asks that land/investments are sold but records of the gift and the charity’s request must be retained. This could be useful where an asset is ‘pregnant with gain’ and difficult to dispose of without incurring a large amount of tax.

Inheritance Tax

Gifts to charity enjoy favourable treatment for inheritance purposes both for gifts made during a person’s lifetime and also for those in Wills.

  1. Unlike most lifetime gifts, the value of gifts made to a charity within 7 years before a person dies are not taken into account when calculating the taxable size of an estate. The exemption is unlimited and so can be a useful tax-planning tool. 
  2. For bequests in Wills the value of the donation will either be taken off the value of the estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated, or else reduce the Inheritance Tax rate from 40% to 36%, if 10% or more of the estate is left to charity.


For larger donations, a donor may wish recognition of their support either on our website or on a research paper – or may wish to remain anonymous. ME Research UK will respect a donor’s wishes where it can and ensure that gifts are recognised in an appropriate way.

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