It's encouraging to see that the charity-donations scheme is - once more - being reviewed. I've been away from the community for a while, but I remember contributing to previous rounds of forum-discussion in 2015, 2016 and 2017, which became very detailed and grappled with a number of issues. Some seem to have been addressed, some not.
Thankfully the nomination and voting process appears to have been sorted. Members now can't make more than one nomination. Kudos are only now used as a tie-break. I hope the auditing process now spots other attempts to manipulate the process. I'm still not sure I'm comfortable with the possibility that people who are trustees or employees of a charity could "self-nominate".
The question of repeat-donations is still up for discussion. Current rules stipulate a two-year restriction before a previous winner can get a further donation. There are those who argue that with so many charities seeking funding, there should be an indefinite restriction - ie NO repeat donations. I have much sympathy with that view.
The big-versus-small (or global/national-versus-regional/local) debate obviously continues. There is no ideal answer. The shortlisting of five in order to choose the winning two offers a reasonable chance that smaller, local or regional charities might get a look in.
Which leaves an area about which I have quite strong views: inclusiveness and diversity. I set my thoughts out in a previous round of discussion:
........when there are literally thousands of charities active across the UK and the world, spreading the money as widely as possible would be in line with the aim of being "inclusive". It ought perhaps to be part of giffgaff's aims to make people more aware of those charities that work in the less-visible, less-popular, less-sexy areas of need.
..........[As for] diversity, this is not the politically correct or gender/ethnic/sexual-orientation kind. Where charities are concerned I would argue that there needs to be a way of channelling money not only to the organisations that deal with human ailments or deprivation, but also to charities working for those who have no PR and no voice: animal welfare, wildlife, the environment, climate change, natural disasters ...etc. It's too easy, and too simple, to lobby for the heart-tugging, tear-jerking, starving-baby stories (Children in Need and Comic Relief have got this nailed, and raise millions). If giffgaff wants to make a real impact, and a real difference, it needs to find a way of mobilising to donate to more than just "the usual suspects". Earlier posts (by me and others) have offered some thoughts on how to do so: that discussion needs to be taken further.
I set out in previous discussions my own suggestions as to exactly how the charity -giving might "spread the love" across all the different sectors of charitable work . Essentially my thought was to pick a different sector (health, environment, rescue, animals, poverty, disability, refugees, whatever) for each annual or six-monthly round of nominations/donations, and then to direct attention and seek nominations only in respect of charities working in that particular subject-area. More detail in a post I made here during the 2016 debate.
The point about such further reform is that - as others have noted - the giffgaff donations, with matching corporate contributions, can make a significant difference. With so many possible recipients, it is too easy to favour those who shout loudest or who play most effectively on the emotions. Having a different thematic focus to each round of the scheme would be fairer and more equitable, It would also encourage people to think about all the different deserving causes rather than just lobbying for one recurrent or personal favourite.