Freelancers for charities


If you can't find the answers you're looking for here then please contact us. It would certainly help us to know what you're looking for – and hopefully we can help you too!

For freelancers

Why become a Blumer?

Becoming a blumer gives you the chance to offer your skills and experience to others in a flexible way. You can choose which tasks you want to do, when you want to do them, and how much you want to charge for them – as long as you charge above the living wage. If you're lucky enough not to need the money, then you can donate your fees to charity through our site. And if you don't want to do the work you're offered, then you simply say no (politely, of course). There really is no downside other than spending the next few minutes filling in some inevitably annoying forms. So what are you waiting for? Become a Blumer!

How does Blume help (new) freelancers?

Blume gives you an opportunity to make use of your skills and experience in a way that suits you.  You can choose when you work, how much you charge and who you work with.  Through our networks, marketing and partnerships we bring customers to you and provide you with a platform to handle payments, communication and disputes (on the rare occasion that they arise).  We love working with existing freelancers and also experienced charity professionals who are considering freelancing for the first time.

How much does it cost to join Blume as a freelancer?

It is completely free.  There is no registration fee.  We make our money by taking a commission on top of whatever you earn.  

How long does the sign-up process take?

To get a basic profile up takes no more than five minutes. If you want to write your profile in haikus or sign up to all the tasks then it will take a little longer.  You will then submit it for approval which will typically take less than one working day. 

How long does the sign-up process take?

To get a basic profile up takes no more than five minutes. If you want to write your profile in haikus or sign up to all the tasks then it will take a little longer.  You will then submit it for approval which will typically take less than one working day.

Can I change my profile?

Yes. You can add tasks or take tasks away. You can change your profile photograph and bio. In fact you can change anything you want. You are in control of it. It is your profile after all.

How much should I charge?

Impossible to say!  But a good starting point as a freelancer is to assess what you think your  annual salary equivalent would be and then add a third to it.

We also have two slightly contradictory pieces of advice…

  • Don’t undercharge!  Charities come to Blume looking for expert professional services not just the cheapest price they can get.
  • Except perhaps to start with…it can help you get your first clients and references if you offer slightly below your market rate

Do I have to stick to the hourly rate on my profile?

No.  You can negotiate the price of every project with the charity before agreeing to do it.  You can also charge a fixed price too.

How do I handle my tax?

The same way as you do with other earnings.  Your earnings from Blume should be included in your tax return just like any other freelance earnings.

How do I calculate my rate to include the Blume fee?

The Blume fee is automatically added to the rate you quoted when filling out your profile questionnaire.  For example, if you quoted a £30 rate then this will appear as £34.50 on your public profile (i.e. £30 plus 15%).

When you are quoting for work the site will automatically calculate how much of the total you will earn and how much Blume will earn.  And both you and the Buyer will be able to see this to ensure transparency.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you are having a conversation with a Buyer and want to give them a rough idea of the ptential costs try to include the Blume fee by adding 15% to whatever you want to charge so that the Buyer doesn't get a surprise when they actually book you.

What do I do if I'm VAT registered?

First of all you should tick the box to tell us you are VAT registered when you fill in your profile.

You must then include VAT in your overall rate when quoting for a job and we will automatically generate a VAT invoice for you.  For example if your hourly rate is £20 you should charge £24 per hour to the client but your invoice to us will separate your earnings and the VAT you will need to pay.  If the charity you are working for is VAT-registered (and most of the charities we work for are not) then please contact us directly and we will arrange a process to ensure that they can reclaim the VAT they pay - and of course make your proposal more attractive to them in the process.

How do I charge for expenses?

There is a separate button for charging expenses on each booking.   Blume charges no fees on expenses.

When will I get paid?

Once the buyer has signed off the project ...

  • If it has been paid by BACS you will receive payment within one working day
  • If it has been paid by debit/credit card via Stripe, our financial services provider, you will receive the money within seven working days

Will my details appear on the website immediately?

No. Your profile will not appear until it has been approved by the Blume team.  This usually takes up to one working day.

Can I turn my profile on and off?

Yes.  Go to ‘Edit my profile’ and click on the ‘I’m hibernating’ button if you want a break or are so busy you cannot take on new work.

Why do you need my bank details before I become a Blumer?

This provides an additional level of security for the Blumer and for the buyer. 

For the Blumer it means that when you agree to do a task the money is transferred to our payment providers - Stripe and Xero - immediately so you know that the money is there when you complete the task.

For the buyer it provides assurance that the Blumer is a real person as your payment details are verified.

And of course it means that you can start accepting projects immediately.

What do I do if the client won't or can't pay up front?

If you are comfortable working for the client without upfront payment then ask the client to pay by BACS and schedule the payment for a future date.  The client can then pay when they want to - i.e. before,  on or after the scheduled date.   

For charities

How do I find a freelancer?

Click on ‘Find a freelancer’.  You will be asked a number of quick questions about what you’re looking for and will then be shown a list of people who can help you.  You can contact any which seem like a good fit and you can also put your requirements on our jobs board so that interested Blumers can contact you.  Once you have made contact you can then discuss your requirements further, check that the freelancer has the right experience and agree a price between you.

Can Blume help find me the right freelancer?

Yes. Contact us if you have any questions and one of our team will be happy to talk you through the process and use our knowledge of the Blumers to work out who is right for you.

Why should I trust a Blumer?

Every Blumer has been verified in three ways (as described above, our recommended Blumers have been verified even more fully).  First, we have their address which has been cross-checked with their bank details.  Second, we have reviewed their profile before approving it, often speaking to the Blumer in the process.  Third, you can check the experience and testimonials (where they have them) of the Blumer on their profile for yourself.

Recommended Blumers have also been subject to an interview and telephone reference checks.

Finally, one of the joys of using Blume is that you can hire people for small pieces of work initially to see how it goes.  This mitigates the risk of making a big long term hire.

What is a recommended Blumer?

Recommended Blumers are the best and most responsive freelancers.  We have interviewed them and followed up references by telephone.   We are confident that they will deliver quality, timely work.

How does Blume make money?

We charge 15% on top of whatever the Blumer earns.  This is included in the overall price you are quoted.  But we also break it down so that you can see how much the Blumer earns and how much we earn for every piece of work.

Is Blume a charity?

No.  But we have a strong social mission and values and are in the process of becoming a B-Corp which will embed this mission and values into the way we work.  If you’re interested in why we took this decision please read our founder’s blog.

How do Blume's prices compare with other recruitment agencies?

As well as providing more flexibility and transparency than traditional recritment methods we also aim to be the cheapest recruitment agency around – please tell us if you find anything cheaper!

Temporary recruitment agencies typically charge 20%-30% for short-term contracts or projects compared to Blume’s flat rate  of 15%.

Temporary to permanent contracts (i.e. when a freelancer starts on a temporary contract and then gets taken on permanently) will typically charge a fee that will cover twelve months of employment. On Blume, the maximum you will pay is fees for 180 days -  roughly six months. 

Does Blume go on charging 15% forever?


We charge 15% for up to 12 months.  This can be either a continuous engagement or a series of cumulative engagements.

At this point you can either work directly with the Blumer or else you can continue using the platform to manage your payments and communications at a reduced fee of 5%.

If you want to ‘release’ the Blumer early then you can pay the remaining fees for the twelve months at a reduced rate of 12.5%.

What if I’m not happy with the results?

Most projects get completed on time and to budget but if something goes wrong and cannot be resolved between you and the Blumer then we can support further mediation using the arbitration process outlined in section twelve of our terms.

How does payment work?

For one-off projects:

  1.  The Blumer and the Buyer agree a price.
  2.  The Buyer pays up front either by BACS or by credit/debit card
  3.  The money is released to the Blumer when the Buyer signs off the completed work

For part-time or interim work:

  1. The Blumer and Buyer agree a monthly rate
  2. The Buyer pays up front for the first month
  3. At the end of each subsequent month the Buyer is automatically charged for the following month, and the money for the preceding month is automatically released to the Blumer.

It is also worth noting that the Buyer and Blumer can stop or pause the project and the monthly payments at any point.  And of course we give the Buyer and Blumer plenty of notice in the run up to each monthly payment. 

Why is payment taken upfront?

This gives the Blumer confidence that the money is there and will be paid out quickly when the work has been done.

By paying upfront the Buyer can give the Blumer this reassurance but also retain control over when the money is paid. 

Does Blume benefit from interest on upfront payments?

No.  We get no interest at all if the Buyer chooses to pay by debit/credit card  because  the money is held by Stripe - a 3rd party payment gateway service, trusted by global organisations like Unicef, Meta, Comic Relief and Asos. 

If the buyer pays by BACS the money is held in Blume’s Metro account where at the time of writing the interest rate is a non-pulse racing 0.35%.  At the end of the year we calculate how much interest we have earned and donate it to charity.  If interest rates rise significantly we may review this policy to see if it is worth refunding interest payments to Buyers.  But our principle will always be that we do not benefit financially from holding the money.   

What is the difference between paying by BACS and by credit card?

Paying by credit/debit card is done via our payment provider Stripe.  The money is held by Stripe and then released to the Blumer up to seven working days after the project has been signed off.  There is also a small transaction fee to pay.

If you pay by BACS, the money is held by Blume.  There is no transaction charge and the money is released to the Blumer within one working day of the project being signed off.

When do Blumers get paid?

If the payment is made by BACS Blumers will be paid within one working day of the project being signed off or the month end if it is a part-time/interim project.

If the payment is made by credit/debit card Blumers will be paid by Stripe within seven working days of the project being signed off or the month end if it is a part-time/interim project.

Do I need to communicate via Blume?

Once you have connected via Blume the only legal requirement is that you formally agree the work and pay for it through Blume.  But it can be helpful to communicate over the platform  so that there is a record of what you have done and agreed.

Can I pay a release fee?

You are required to pay Blume fees for up to twelve months.

If you want to release the Blumer earlier than this - for example by making them a permanent member of staff - you can pay the remainder of the twelve months at a reduced rate of 12.5%.

Do I have to pay immediately?

No.  If you are paying by BACS then you can schedule the payment to coincide with your payment runs or even beyond.  The Blumer does not have to start work until the payment is made though is free to do so if you can reach agreement with them.


Does Blume store credit card or bank account details?

No, we don't store those in our system.

Instead they are held by Xero and Stripe.  You can read about their security arrangements by following these links.

Does Blume store personal information?

Yes, we store your name, address and (if you've entered it) your date of birth.

Where is this information kept?

We store personal information, encrypted, in our database. Not only is it encrypted, it is stored on a separate server entirely from the Blume website, and that server is never open to the public (only the Blume website can access it).

How safe is Blume?

When you send information to us, we only use HTTPS and use a high quality SHA2-256 2048-bit SSL certificate.

The main Blume website server is sitting behind both a reverse proxy and a Cisco firewall, the database server sits privately behind that.

We regularly test the site using Tenable software for PCI-quality scans and Qualys to make sure the SSL stays up to scratch, meaning we're taking all the protection we can to keep your data safe.