Breast Cancer Campaign has called on the government to allow employers to make Gift Aid declarations on donations made in the workplace on behalf of all employees.
The charity believes it lost out on £400,000 last year through its Wear it Pink fundraising day because of a lack of awareness about Gift Aid and because existing rules mean even small cash donations made in the workplace must carry individual donor declarations.
Wear it Pink day is tomorrow, and the charity said 75 per cent of the money raised through its flagship fundraiser comes from office giving. In 2011 it raised £2.2m, but was able to reclaim only £40,000 in Gift Aid.
It has proposed that employers or a workplace representative could confirm that participants are all employed in the organisation and therefore eligible to claim Gift Aid on collections made in the workplace.
Research by Ipsos Mori on behalf of Breast Cancer Campaign, based on a survey of 2,361 UK adults in employment carried out in two phases over the past month, found that a third of workers know nothing about the Gift Aid scheme.
It found that nearly half (45 per cent) of employees who have made cash gifts to charity in the workplace have never filled out donor declarations.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign, said the proposals would simplify the scheme.
"Many charities, ourselves included, have tried to increase Gift Aid take-up through increased communications, with little success," she said.
"It is very difficult when large numbers of people are donating relatively small sums of money to also ask them to complete individual Gift Aid declarations. Fundraising in the workplace is a popular method of donating to charity, but red tape is limiting the impact of those donations.
"Greater awareness of Gift Aid is needed, but one small change to the requirements for small individual donations made in the workplace would also help charities access additional vital funds that would make a real difference."
Breast Cancer Campaign’s research found that awareness of Gift Aid was particularly low among younger age groups. Almost half of 18 to 34-year-olds said they did not know about the scheme.