Business & Startups

Giving Tuesday: Amsterdam’s The Social Handshake helps you donate your energy reimbusement to charities | Silicon Canals

The war in Ukraine has led to a sharp increase in energy prices in the Netherlands. As a result, the Government of the Netherlands is taking several measures to help households and businesses offset the higher costs. 

As a part of these measures, the Dutch government is offering a contribution to energy bills in the form of a €190 payment for the months of November and December 2022, totaling €380. 

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With today being Giving Tuesday, Amsterdam-based The Social Handshake has announced that its platform is now open to people who want to donate their Energy Refund to help others. 

The Social Handshake is a fintech startup that allows employees to donate a part of their salary to charity automatically. The company aims to help people during this time of crisis, especially in the winters. 

To reiterate, GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year. The day encourages people to donate money or time to charities and non-profit organisations. The movement was started in 2012 by a group of individuals who wanted to create a day focusing on giving, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Image credits: Linkedin

For this initiative, the Amsterdam startup has collaborated with different charities, including Voedselbank Amsterdam,, and Kansfonds. According to the Dutch startup, users can choose charities based on their interests and donate. 

Image credits: LinkedIn

The company claims that the entirety of all donations will go to the charities and the transaction costs are borne by The Social Handshake. “This crisis affects many people in the Netherlands, but also in poorer countries, due to rising prices, more people are hungry. You can also support them via the link. All goals have ANBI status and are screened for transparency, efficiency and effectiveness,” mentions the company in its LinkedIn post. 

The Social Handshake: What you need to know

Founded in 2019 by Sandra van Beest, The Social Handshake connects employers, employees, and charities through Payroll Giving. 

With Payroll Giving, a user can give a monthly donation to charities of their choice straight from the paycheck. 100 per cent of the donation goes to charities. Moreover, users can also get a tax benefit, which ensures that it costs less to give more. 

A minimum donation amount of €5 applies per charity. Users can give from €5 per month if they want to support one charity. The minimum donation for two or three charities starts at €10 and €15 per month, respectively.

Typically, charities pay fundraising costs, meaning they have to pay a lot to recruit users as donors. However, The Social Handshake charities with Payroll Giving do not have any fundraising costs and the employer pays for the administrative costs. 

This way, The Social Handshake can make Payroll Giving technically, legally, and administratively possible. In addition, the company ensures none of the donations are lost, and the charity can use 100 per cent of the donation for their activities.

Only charities with ANBI status can participate in Payroll Giving, meaning only those charities that serve the public interest with 90 per cent of their activities, are not profit-making, and meet specific integrity requirements.

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