Third sector groups lament lack of tax incentives in Giving Green Paper

Organisations including the Institute of Fundraising, Acevo and the European Association for Philanthropy and Giving say financial incentives are vital

Office for Civil Society
Office for Civil Society

Voluntary sector organisations have criticised the Giving Green Paper for lacking proposals to incentivise giving through tax breaks.

The Cabinet Office yesterday closed its consultation on the paper, which sets out the government's ideas for building a stronger culture of giving in the UK. It said it had received more than 450 responses.

Organisations including the Institute of Fundraising, the chief executives body Acevo and the European Association for Philanthropy and Giving have expressed their disappointment that the paper was silent on tax incentives.

The EAPG response says: "The single most effective measure that government can introduce would comprise the creation of tax incentives as they will be vital in unlocking fresh resources."

Nick Carey, policy officer at Acevo, said financial incentives for giving were crucial to increasing generosity. He told Third Sector that the organisation's response said that the simplification of Gift Aid had not gone far enough.

The response from the IoF says: "The tax system needs to be such that it is made easier for people to give. Small changes could make a transformational difference."

The IoF also points out that some of the proposals in the paper would present difficulties for small charities, such as the use of cashpoints for giving. The government should do more to support research into people's motivations for giving, it says.

The response from the Fundraising Standards Board suggests the government should examine ideas such allowing people give their state pension to charity before they receive it, and a celebrity ambassador programme in which celebrities talk about their donor behaviour.

The NCVO's response points the government towards some of the ideas its Funding Commission came up with in December to increase sector funding. These include the development of the Better Asking campaign, which would aim to improve the quality and effectiveness of all forms of fundraising.

The local infrastructure group Navca focused much of its response on the role of volunteering. It says volunteering would be best supported by well-resourced volunteer centres that have good reach into their communities.

The PFRA says the government should encourage local authorities to work with it to regulate face-to-face fundraising, rather than continuing to empower local authorities to issue licences for charitable collections.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said it was intending to send a written response to the government, but she was not sure when this would be. The regulator had already given an oral response, she said, but declined to reveal further details.

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