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Charities anticipate new boost for Gift Aid donors

    Norwood bike riders: charities may benefit from the new Gift Aid rules
    Norwood bike riders: charities may benefit from the new Gift Aid rules

    Communal charities have welcomed plans for a government consultation on enabling donors to sign up only once for gift aid, rather than each time that they make a donation.

    As the system stands, people must declare for Gift Aid each time they donate online. If they do not, charities lose the possibility of upping the contribution by a quarter, whereby a £10 donation would actually put £12.50 in the charity’s coffers.

    Last week’s Budget contained a pledge for the government “to consult on proposals to make it easier to claim gift aid through a wide range of digital giving channels, including options for enabling donors to complete a single gift aid declaration to cover all their donations though a specific channel.”

    The Charities Aid Foundation suggested the proposal could be worth more than £700m a year to the third sector, and Magen David Adom UK chairman Daniel Burger said it was “priceless”.

    “Online and mobile giving is one of our biggest growth areas, so the Chancellor’s pledge to look at bringing Gift Aid in to the digital age is welcomed,” added Lisa Steele, Chai Cancer Care’s chief executive.

    Other charities said that although their existing donors tended to opt in to Gift Aid despite the requirement, meaning the change would not represent a financial boost, a move to cut paperwork was positive.

    “Any developments that seek to reduce our administration costs and make it easier for people to donate have to be a good thing,” said Bernie Yaffe, treasurer at Manchester Jewish social care charity The Fed.

    Last year a survey revealed that some community charities were forfeiting the possibility of thousands of pounds a year because of a failure to claim Gift Aid.

    “Charities find that completing declaration forms deters some donors from using Gift Aid,” said Norwood’s chief executive, Elaine Kerr.

    The announcement that the government would take the first £2,000 off the employer’s National Insurance bill of every company was praised by Benjamin Conway, trustee of Paperweight, a charity that provides administrative support for members of the community during times of crisis.

    “As a charity with a very modest budget, run by the founders and unpaid volunteers, this will make a huge difference when it comes to recruiting our first paid member of staff,” he said.

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