Institute of Fundraising manifesto calls for action on legacies and Gift Aid

'Realistic and achievable' aims set out in lobbying document

The Institute of Fundraising has launched a manifesto calling on the Government and the main opposition parties to commit to extending transitional relief on Gift Aid and providing match funding for legacy donations.

The document, which will be sent to institute members this week and used to lobby MPs, officials, ministers and shadow ministers in the run-up to the general election, assumes Gift Aid reform is unlikely to happen this year.

"The institute is calling for the extension of transitional relief beyond the current end date of April 2011," it says. "This is so that any end to transitional relief will coincide with the implementation of appropriate reforms."

The manifesto urges political parties to set a target of increasing the proportion of people who leave legacies to charity from 7 per cent to 11 per cent, which it claims would raise an extra £1bn a year. It asks them to pledge to provide match funding for legacy donations made to the 140 members of the Remember a Charity consortium. It also calls for the parties to commit to major investment in training for fundraisers.

Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the institute, said: "We feel that what we are asking for is realistic and achievable, and will greatly support fundraising."

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The institute's provisionally titled Right to Ask campaign, intended to convey to fundraisers and the public the message that charities are entitled to ask for donations, has been delayed.

The institute originally expected to launch the campaign this spring. But a spokeswoman said the start of the scheme had been put back. "The timescales have shifted, so it's not likely to be as soon as we had thought," she said. The institute would not have further details about the scheme in the near future, she said.

Stephen Pidgeon, chair of the institute's standards committee, said trustees approved of the campaign, but had decided it would take a long time to implement.

The Right to Ask campaign is expected to cover face-to-face fundraising, telephone fundraising and no cold calling zones. The institute has also considered calling it Proud to Ask.

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