Gift Aid and digital giving

The government's new consultation on Gift Aid goes further than many had expected, says Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the Institute of Fundraising

Daniel Fluskey
Daniel Fluskey
Gift Aid is one of the most significant tax reliefs that charities benefit from. Last year over £1billion was paid to charities under the scheme. It is one of the main ways that the government supports the charitable sector and represents vital extra income on eligible donations.

The government is now looking at how Gift Aid works, specifically in relation to online and text donations. However, the scope of the consultation does go beyond the digital realm; it also looks at introducing a shorter Gift Aid declaration, considers the liability for claims that have to be repaid, and asks questions on future promotion of Gift Aid and how to maximise take up.

As charities continue to look at how best to integrate and utilise digital technology in their fundraising, and with it becoming ever easier for donors to give in new ways, it is essential to make sure that Gift Aid keeps up to speed and that it can be claimed easily on the increasing amount of donations given through digital channels.

We do not want Gift Aid to be left behind. The income that it provides to the sector is a vital extra resource that contributes directly to good causes. Therefore the Institute welcomes this timely review from the government, considering what changes can be made to make it easier to claim Gift Aid on digital donations for both charities and donors. Enabling donors to make a single declaration that would allow Gift Aid to be added to all donations made through a specific ‘intermediary’ is likely to increase the overall number of donations that Gift Aid is added to by making the donor experience easier and more streamlined.

The more that Gift Aid can be made simple by being easy for donors to understand and for charities to use as a crucial fundraising technique, the more money it can bring to good causes. We shall be consulting with our members over the summer before responding to the consultation in September.

This article appears on a page edited by the Institute of Fundraising and hosted by ThirdSector.co.uk

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