Do more on Gift Aid, devolved governments urged

Umbrella bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland are pressuring their governments to match the Chancellor's commitment to help small charities in England claim Gift Aid.

Alistair Darling announced in this week’s Budget that he planned to extend the Institute of Fundraising’s tax-effective giving initiative, which provides training and advice on charitable tax relief (Third Sector Online, 12 March).

He also announced training programmes aimed at charities with annual incomes of less than £1m, an online resource and plans to reach out to 5,000 new charities that are not currently making the most of Gift Aid.

The Institute of Fundraising Scotland is lobbying the Scottish Government for similar measures.

“Supporting tax-effective giving training would help Scottish charities maximise their income and relieve funding pressures across the sector,” said Gregor McNie, manager of the Institute of Fundraising Scotland. “There’s so much money out there that isn’t being claimed. We need to help the smaller charities make use of Gift Aid.”

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action revealed that more than £33m could have been claimed through Gift Aid in Northern Ireland but many charities there did not know enough about it.

“The Northern Ireland Executive still hasn’t done enough and it has postponed any changes for another number of years,” said Neil Irwin, member services manager at Nicva. “Meanwhile, organisations still lose out. If Gift Aid applies to Northern Ireland and Scotland as it does in England, then why don’t the training funds extend in the same way?”

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