Frequently asked questions

Here you'll find many questions we're often asked about our work. If you are a local church or charity and have a question about partnering with us, please take a look at our church/charity FAQs. If you have another question, that is not answered here, please email us at

Questions about donations

Why should I give to Acts 435 and not another charity?

With Acts 435 100% of your donation goes directly to the people in need. You can choose who to give your money to, and all of it will go directly to that person. Our method of working through local churches and charities means that there are trained and trusted people on the ground verifying that the need is genuine. Once the need has been met the local partners are able to send a message of thanks from the individual applicant who has been helped and this will be sent, by email, to those donors who gave to that particular individual, giving you direct feedback as to what happens to your money.

If I donate, how much of my money will go to the person in need?

100% of what is donated via Acts 435 goes directly to those in need. If you Gift Aid your donation, it helps towards the running costs of the charity which are kept to an absolute minimum with no fundraising department nor fund-raisers employed. The credit card transaction charges on your donation are also covered within our administrative costs to ensure absolutely every penny of your donation goes to the people in need.

How are our donations managed to ensure that the item requested is purchased and not something else?

We allow each church to manage the giving of the funds/ purchase of the item in accordance with their usual policies and procedures, along with guidelines from us. When we send the funds to the local church or charity they are restricted funds which, governed by the Charities Commission, must be used for the purpose they were raised for. Local churches/charity partners know each applicant and whether they can trust them with the cash to use for the required item, or whether it is best to purchase it on their behalf. We encourage church advocates to accompany the applicant and purchase the item together to ensure both that the funds are used correctly and that there is some pastoral care for the individual/family in need.

For a variety of reasons sometimes the person no longer needs the item once the money has been raised. If that is the case, local partners adhere to our Reallocations Policy which governs the use of the restricted funds given to the original person in need. If one donor gave the full amount, we will consult with the donor on who they would like to support instead. If multiple donors gave to one request, we will instead reallocate the funds to an alternative request, trying to match with a similar type of need and/or location wherever possible.

Can furniture and other items be donated?

Acts 435 does not have the facility to receive donated items and store them, nor the capacity to match your gifted item with a specific need. We make sure our local partners are aware of the different furniture resources available to them, such as freecycle and the Furniture Reuse Network. Others run their own furniture banks, or may network with local charities to purchase cheap good quality furniture with the money raised through Acts 435.

Why don't you accept American Express?

In common with many organisations that receive card payments or donations, we do not offer American Express. This is purely because the charges we need to pay for Amex transactions are significantly higher than Visa and Mastercard.

Can my business or workplace help financially?

We always welcome donations from businesses and workplaces. In the past we have had general donations given to our work from businesses and corporate partners, who are looking to make a direct difference. They have been able to choose to allocate this donation for a specific region, or for a specific category. We have also had a workplace that enabled their employees to choose which specific requests the donation should go towards - they ran this throughout the festive season, blessing different individuals each day with their donation. If your business or workplace are interested in donating towards our work, then please get in touch to discuss how we can support you in doing this.

Questions about the requests for help

Is there a limit to how much people can ask for?

Yes, there is a limit of £200 and we provide our local partners with guidance on reasonable limits for certain items.

What happens if a request for help doesn’t get met?

Currently all our requests get met within a month, which is thanks to the amazing donations that we receive from individual donors. The speed at which the requests get met can fluctuate, and our focus is on trying to reduce the average time a request is waiting. This means that we can apply general funds (such as standing orders and Gift Aid receipts) to help fulfill our oldest requests.

Do you have to be a Christian to ask for help?

No. Acts 435 is run through churches and local charities and is open to anyone in need from any background.

What is Acts 435 doing to protect against fraud?

The requests for help are posted by our partner churches and charities, all of which are either meeting face-to-face with individuals, or who have been referred through another organisation that they work closely with (such as the local school or housing association). This means that the applicants are known to our partners, and the local Advocate (Acts 435 representative) knows their situation and their needs. Systems are in place to identify anyone who might try and go from church to church to seek help through Acts 435.

What is a Debt Relief Order?

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is a type of insolvency, which clears an individual's debts, and they won't need to repay them. You can read more about this here. As of 6th April 2024 the fee for a Debt Relief Order was scrapped in England and Wales. However, the fee is still payable in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and we will continue to have requests for DROs in these areas on our website.

General questions

Why is it called Acts 435?

Acts 435 was inspired by the works of the early church, as described in Acts 4:35. The early disciples of the risen Christ shared their possessions, and passed money to the apostles to give to anyone who had need.

How is Acts 435 funded?

The organisation and administration of Acts 435 is funded entirely by Gift Aid reclaimed on applicable donations. The charity's administrative costs are kept to an absolute minimum with a very small team.There is no fundraising department nor fundraisers employed.

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How we work

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