More than 200 UK charities have joined a coalition calling for the government to temporarily increase the level of Gift Aid in order to help keep their services running during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
Last month, a group led by the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising, the Charity Finance Group and the Charity Tax Group said a temporary boost to Gift Aid that would raise the effective amount charities could receive from the tax break from 25 per cent to 33 per cent over the next two years could boost the sector’s finances by £450m.
The initiative has drawn broad support from charities of all sizes working both locally and nationally across the UK, as well as churches and other groups.
It comes as the sector faces a drastic funding shortfall as the effects of lockdown, subsequent social distancing, and economic uncertainty take their toll on planned fundraising activities.
Charities have begun to announce job losses and service cuts and some fear they will have to shut their doors to the millions of people who benefit from their services.
The proposed Gift Aid change would mean that a £100 donation from a UK taxpayer would increase to £133.33 for the charity once Gift Aid had been claimed, instead of the current £125.
A statement from the NSPCC said the move would make a crucial difference at a time of increased demand for help.
“This proposal would increase our monthly Gift Aid income by an estimated £200,000, which would significantly help towards covering the shortfall in donations," it said.
Other supporters of the proposal include Marie Curie, the Scouts, Alzheimer’s Society and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
In a statement, the coalition proposing the relief package said: “We hope the government considers some of the charities at real risk and takes forward the proposals to give a much-needed boost at this hugely challenging time.”
More than 70,000 charities claimed Gift Aid in 2019, and more than 120,000 charities are known to be registered for Gift Aid and the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.