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Charity Of The Year: Past Winners

With the Charity of The Year nominations just around the corner, we thought we’d take you on a trip down memory lane and revisit some of our past winners. We caught up with the incredible teams at Derian House Children’s Hospice and the British Hen Welfare Trust, to find out just how much the award meant to them!

To find out more about how to nominate your charity for the Charity of the Year Award, head to the bottom of this page.

The British Hen Welfare Trust (2018 Winners)

The British Hen Welfare Trust team at the 2018 JustGiving Awards, holding their Award, presented by Lydia Bright.

The British Hen Welfare Trust were crowned Charity Of The Year back in 2018 – after making the top three, they received the most nominations and were presented with their award at a glittery awards ceremony in London.

Since 2005, the charity has been rescuing hens from slaughter and re-homing them as pets throughout the UK. Working with farmers in the egg industry, they’ve re-homed an incredible 850,000 hens to date! The founder, Jane Howorth, received an MBE for her work, after bringing about a ban on battery cages in 2012.

Jane Howorth MBE pictured holding a hen and smiling.

We recently reached out to the team at BHWT to ask them about their experience receiving a JustGiving Award.

“As a charity that is run by a fairly small team, it was simply phenomenal to be recognised by the UK’s biggest fundraising platform and we were overwhelmed to have so much support from the public who nominated us for the award.

We may be small, but we make a big impact, since 2005 we’ve saved over 874,000 hens from slaughter. To be named Charity of the Year is a testament to that hard work and the successes achieved by our staff, volunteers, and supporters around the country.

The past couple of years have been tough for all charities, including our own, but we continue to save around 50,000 hens from slaughter every year. Since winning the award, we’ve developed more ways to improve education about pet hens, built a new Hen Central, and reached new audiences internationally. Being named Charity of the Year was a great honour, and still fills me with pride.

Jane Howarth MBE
Founder of BHWT

Find out more about the British Hen Welfare Trust and donate here.

Derian House Children’s Hospice (2019 Winners)

The Derian House Children’s Hospice team celebrating with presenter Dev Griffin, after receiving their Charity Of The Year Award.

Our 2019 winners, Derian House Children’s Hospice, work tirelessly to help children and young people, whose lives are too short, to make happy memories in an environment of fun, respect and outstanding care.The care they provide is free for families, but costs around £5.7 million to run every year – only 17% of the funding they need comes from the government. They rely entirely on donations from supporters for the remaining 83%. They provide vital support to young people and their families – offering palliative care, respite stays, day care, holidays and end of life support.

The outside of Derian House Children’s Hospice

We’ll let the team tell you a little more about the award, and how much it meant to the charity…

“Derian House Children’s Hospice winning the JustGiving Charity of the Year Award is one of the achievements we’re most proud of. 

That same year we had been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and had just completed a million-pound refurbishment of our hospice and winning the award felt like the icing on the cake. 

It not only gave us brilliant exposure, meaning that we attracted new donors and were able to reach new families with our services, but it also felt like a real chance for our staff, volunteers and the children we look after to feel proud of everything we do at Derian House. 

The awards night itself was so exciting. We travelled down to London for the night and were so honoured to be at an event alongside such inspirational and wonderful people, as well as celebrities and sporting legends. There was a real feeling in the air of everyone celebrating each other’s achievements, which was just lovely. 

At Derian House, we display our JustGiving Award in the reception of the hospice so everyone who enters the building can see it. We are very proud of this achievement and we were honoured to win it.

Personally, to be involved in this was one of the highlights of my career.

Caroline Taylor
Head of Income, Marketing and Communications

Find out more about Derian House Children’s Hospice and donate here.

Want to get involved?

We’re on the look out for our Charity Of The Year 2022! The nominations for this year’s award will officially open on the 7th July 2022 – could you be in the running?

 We’re looking for nominations from your staff, volunteers and supporters. The more you get before the 22nd of July, the greater your chance of being shortlisted. 

You could be joining the rest of our fundraising finalists, who’ll be up for public vote between the 3rd of August and 11th of September 2022.

Get the most votes, and we’ll be handing over a trophy to you and your team at our ceremony in London this October. Your charity will get exposure and social media coverage – and you get a fantastic night to celebrate your team’s hard work. Sound good?

We’ll be sharing the nomination link on the 7th of July. We can’t wait to read your amazing applications and celebrate together!

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Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation announces 2022 fellows | Philanthropy news

The New York City-based Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has announced the 2022 cohort of Damon Runyon Fellows.

This year, the program has awarded fellowships of $260,000 each over four years to 16 early-career scientists to conduct cancer research under the mentorship of senior investigators. Recipients include Xin Gu (Harvard Medical School), for work focused on revealing the molecular mechanisms of IEG expression in cells and efforts to study the physiological and disease-related outcomes caused by misregulation of the process; Heidi E. Klumpe (Boston University), who will use yeast as a simplified model of cell aggregation to engineer diverse aggregates to shed light on “design principles” that underlie the persistence of tumors; J. Scott P. McCain (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), in support of research investigating circadian rhythms in bacteria; Dylan M. Parker (University of Colorado Boulder), who will work to determine the mechanisms regulating stress granule assembly and disassembly to understand how stress granule formation supports the development of cancer and chemotherapy-resistant tumors; and Wen Mai Wong (Salk Institute for Biological Studies), who will investigate a new method to non-invasively silence neurons within the body.

“We are thrilled to be funding these innovative, young scientists with the brilliance and passion to push boundaries and make breakthroughs,” said Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation president and CEO Yung S. Lie. “They are committed to understanding the fundamental processes driving cancer, which may ultimately lead to new therapeutic approaches for patients. Damon Runyon Fellows are the future leaders of their respective fields.”

For a complete list of this year’s Runyon Fellows, see the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation website.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

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Meet the 2022 JustGiving Awards Finalists: Voting Now Open!

We’re beyond excited to introduce to you to the incredible finalists of the JustGiving Awards 2022…

Tens of thousands of you got in touch to tell us about the amazing fundraisers you think deserve an award – and with so many inspiring fundraising stories, shortlisting nominees wasn’t an easy task. But we think you’ll agree with us when we say that every single finalist chosen deserves to be recognised for their exceptional work.

Thank you to everybody who took the time to tell us about the people making a real difference to charities close to their hearts – we’re immensely proud of all the amazing things our community is doing on JustGiving.

Now, we’re handing it over to you… who do you think deserves to win?

Creative Fundraiser of the Year

Michelle Luscombe

Michelle Luscombe

Most people would throw a party for their birthday, but Michelle had other ideas. She celebrated her 50th by taking on 50 fundraising challenges, from performing stand-up comedy, broadcasting a radio show live from a boat and learning some seriously cool dance routines to pop songs. All the while, raising over £5,000 to help fund vital dementia research.

Craig and Aimee posed with their bin, ‘Bin Diesel’.

Craig and Aimee

YouTubers, Craig and Aimee’s fundraising challenge is far from rubbish. In fact, it’s a World Record breaking attempt. They travelled from North to South Wales, in a wheelie bin (known as Bin Diesel). To date, they’ve raised a stinking £20,000 for Big Moose, the mental health charity.

One of Hercule’s many pet drawings.

Hercule Van Wolfwinkle

Hercule has been called many things in life, an artist certainly isn’t one of them. But all of that changed one afternoon when he doodled a picture of his dog and stuck it on Facebook. £125,000 later, people as far as California and Belgium are asking him to draw self-confessed ‘rubbish’ pictures of their pets in return for donations.

Young Fundraiser of the Year

Max Woosey sat by his tent.

Max Woosey

Collecting over £600,000 for would be impressive for anyone – let alone a 12-year-old. When Max’s neighbour, Rick was being given end of life care, he made Max promise him that he’d live the rest of his life having an adventure. Since 29th March 2020, that’s exactly what he’s been doing. Camping outside in a tent, every night to show his gratitude to the hospice that cared for Rick.

Elizabeth Soffe running the equivalent of a marathon throughout July.

Elizabeth Soffe

After an air conditioning unit malfunctioned, Elizabeth (then 6 months old) was lucky to survive. In the 7 years since the fire, she’s had over 70 operations. When she learned about the state-of-the-art laser machine that would help her and other children, this determined youngster set out to raise £130,000 to buy the machine herself. She ran a marathon over the course of July to encourage donations.

Rhys Porter, holding up a football shirt at a football match.

Rhys Porter

When football lover, Rhys (13) posted a video on social of media of one of his goal saves at a football match, he was subject to thousands of hateful comments about his disability. Living with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy hasn’t been easy, but as it turns out, his goal-reaching is as good as his goal-saving, with over £20,000 now raised as part of his family fundraising challenge for disability charity, Scope.

Fundraising Team of the Year

Tim, Mike and Andy posed together, wearing PAPYRUS shirts.

3 Dad’s Walking

Suicide is the biggest killer of those under 35 in the UK. Unfortunately, Tim, Mike and Andy know this only too well. Their worlds were turned upside down when their daughters took their own lives. Together, these Dad’s took on a 300-mile walk raising vital awareness for suicide prevention and over £880,000 for Papyrus.

Stuart and Charlotte celebrating crossing the finish line at their very own, Spennylympics.


49 sports, 80 events, 17 days, 2 legends. Stuart and Charlotte completed all events featured in the Tokyo Olympics Games to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of Stuart’s brother, Spencer. They might not have won a gold medal, but their reward was the donations which came rolling in – a staggering £155,000.

Martin Hibbert, posed in his wheelchair, smiling at the camera.

Martin’s Mountain

On 22 May 2017, Martin’s life changed forever. He survived the Manchester Arena bombing which tragically took the lives of 22 people, but he was left paralysed below the waist. In June this year, using a specially adapted wheelchair, he reached the summit of Kilimanjaro with the support of an incredible team, including some of the people who saved his life. Not to mention, raising over £500,000 for Spinal Injuries Association.

Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year

Ryan Thomas

Ryan Thomas

We’re used to seeing Corrie star, Ryan Thomas on our TV screens, not walking 10 marathons (in 10 days) from London to Manchester. He raised over £162,000 for the mental health and suicide prevention charity, CALM, which helped fund over 20,000 helpline calls and inspired many people to come forward and ask for help.

Samantha and Luisa posed for a photo in Outreach Moldova charity jumpers.

Samantha Faiers and Luisa Zissman

TV personalities and close friends, Luisa and Sam know how special it is to be a mother. So, it’s no surprise that when they heard about the vulnerable babies, children and teens at the Outreach Moldova orphanage, they booked a flight and kicked off a fundraising mission to raise as much as they could to help them. Together, they raised over £160,000 to help with much-needed medical care and refurbishments.

Kevin Sinfield

Former England captain, Kevin Sinfield has proved he’ll always go the extra mile for his friend and former rugby teammate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019. Kevin raised £2.7 million through his first fundraising challenge by running 7 marathons in 7 days but he didn’t stop there. His next challenge saw him run 101 miles in 24 hours.

Endurance Fundraiser of the Year

Josh Quigley posed with his bike.

Josh Quigley

Josh is no stranger to breaking records. Just 3 months after being diagnosed with arthritis and being hospitalised after a 40mph crash, he broke the Guinness World Record for the longest distance cycled in a week. That’s a whopping 2,179 miles (an average of 311 miles a day), and over £10,000 raised for Arthritis Action.

Nick Gardner, posed on top of a mountain in his hiking gear.

Nick Gardner

Nick would do anything to make his wife, Janet better. But until there is a cure for dementia, he decided to raise as much money as possible to make sure others never have to face such a cruel disease alone. The 82-year-old mountain lover decided he’d climb all 282 Scottish Munros in 1200 days. Despite his ‘grand old age’, he’s confident he’s got the mountaineering skills, experience, and fitness to succeed!

Paula sat in her wheel chair, smiling at the camera.

Paula Craig

Police officer, Paula’s life changed in an instant when she was hit by a car whilst riding her bike in 2001. She suffered a spinal cord injury, leaving her paralysed from the waist down. She’s raised over £33,000 to thank the charity who’ve supported her over the last 20 years, after setting her her sights on becoming the first paraplegic person to swim the English Channel without a wetsuit, as part of a relay team.

Changemaker of the Year

Zoe and her son, Byron, posed together for a photo.

Zoe Cooke

Last year, 235 people were killed as a result of knife crime in England and Wales. One of whom was Zoe’s son, Byron. After his death, she used her pain to spread one important message – lives not knives. Thanks to her dedication, ‘bleed kits’ are now available around Nottingham city centre to help save the lives of future victims of knife crime.

Hayley’s son with his beloved cocker spaniel.

Hayley Kirby-Bulner

It’s well-known that dog bring people a lifetime of happiness.  So it’s no wonder Hayley decided to raise over £34,000  to give children with autism a helping paw. The money she raised will help fund dogs for families with a child needing support as well as all the love a dog can give.

Leanne Pero

Cancer affects around 367,000 people in the UK each year, but BAME women with cancer are continually underrepresented in the media and undermined in their treatment. After receiving a life-changing cancer diagnosis of her own at 30-years-old, Leanne used her experiences to create a community for BAME cancer patients and survivors, running monthly peer-to-peer support groups to help tackle the inequalities they face.

Outstanding Commitment

Aimee Wood

Aimee’s daughter Olivia was 5 years old when she died unexpectedly following a routine operation in hospital. Although bereavement support was available for her family, Olivia’s classmates and teachers had nowhere to go for help. That’s why Aimee is making it her mission to introduce better support in schools through her charity, ‘Olivia’s Smile’. Thanks to her, school communities will learn how to deal with grief after experiencing a loss.

Manjinder Kang

It’s people like Manjinder that put the ‘super’ in ‘super-fundraiser’. The life-long Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter has shown unmatched dedication to supporting the work of Dementia UK raising over £100,000. Running and cycling for hundreds of miles, organising sleepouts, raffling signed football shirts and selling thousands of samosas as part of his infamous ‘Samosa Saturday’s’.

John, wearing a green wig and a Macmillan shirt, sat on a bench.

John Burkhill

Come rain or shine, 83-year-old John (affectionately known as ‘The Man with the Pram’) can be found almost every day on the streets of Sheffield, wearing his signature green wig, pushing the pram bought when his daughter was born in 1961. Since losing his wife to cancer and his daughter during a routine operation, he’s set his sights on reaching the magic £1million mark for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Over to you…

There are 24 finalists, but only 8 can be crowned winners!

To cast your vote, click here, select on the finalist you think should win in each category, and head down to the bottom of the page to submit your votes. Voting closes on the 11th of September 2022.

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Why music matters: choosing the right audio for Instagram Reels

Audio plays a huge part in the success of Instagram reels. With video content more popular than ever, charities can now share their work, values, and fundraising events to a whole new audience. It’s important to choose an enticing audio that hooks your viewers in and makes them want to stick around… picking the right audio can make the difference between having no views and a viral video.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. 

Here are our top three tips for picking the right audio for your Instagram reels…

Using Trending Audios

If you’re new to creating content, the best place to start is the reels feed… it’ll be jam-packed with trending audios (songs and sounds alike), with millions of views. There’s endless inspiration – scroll until you find something that you feel suits your video. Choosing a trending sound can boost your views, increase your chances of virality and put your charity in front of a whole new audience. 

When it comes to trending sounds, TikTok tends to lead the way. TikTok trends typically find their way over to Instagram within a few days. If you’d like to get ahead of the game on Instagram, do your ‘trending sounds’ research on TikTok!


Layla has raised an incredible £670 for @littleprincesstrust by donating her hair! We think she looks amazing! Donate by clicking the link in our IG bio 💜

♬ Hair – Little Mix

If you don’t want to scroll through Reels or TikTok yourself, you can check out the Reels Trend Report. Instagram’s @Creators account releases Trend Reports every Friday; they usually look like this:

The reports include a summary of the past week’s trending content – including sounds, filters, music, challenges and hashtags. 

Use audio from popular TV shows or movies

This is a great way keep your brand feeling fresh – and make your videos more memorable. Why not use a fitting audio from a scene in your favourite film? Or a song that’s made its way into the charts after featuring in a popular Netflix show (most recently, Kate Bush and Metallica, thanks to Stranger Things)?

Keeping up to date with pop culture and putting your own spin on trending audios is a fun way to drive views and engagement. We recommend visiting the Instagram accounts of your favourite shows and streaming platforms – and fan pages too – for some musical inspiration. 

Check out other charities for inspiration

For some ideas from within the charity sector, we recommend checking out other charities and non-profits – and seeing what video content they’re sharing. 

You can also search topics you know your supporters might be interested in. If you’re a charity specialising in mental health, for example, you might search for things like ‘mental health’, ‘wellbeing’, ‘mental health support’, ‘mental health awareness’… This will give you a strong idea of the content that your audience enjoys and responds to – and what they might want to see from you. Make note of the trends and audios similar charities are using!

There you have it – our top three tips for choosing the right audio for your Instagram reels. Video is a great way to showcase your charity’s values and shout about your incredible work. If you’d like some more inspiration (and to see some fantastic featured fundraising stories), check out JustGiving over on TikTok and Instagram.

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