Simplifying the rules covering Gift Aid on small cash donations would allow the voluntary sector to claim an additional £175m a year, according to the Philanthropy Review Board.
The group of sector leaders, set up to recommend ways to improve giving in the UK and chaired by Thomas Hughes-Hallett, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, said spontaneous small cash donations, such as those given to volunteers with collecting tins, were worth about £1.35bn to the sector - but Gift Aid could not usually be claimed on these because donors were not able to fill out the necessary forms.
In interim recommendations published after its first summit meeting last week, the group said charities should be able to submit a figure for all cash gifts received under £10 as part of their normal Gift Aid declarations, and receive Gift Aid on 61 per cent of that sum, proportional to the amount of people in the UK paying income tax.
This would allow the sector to claim an additional £175m a year in Gift Aid, the group said.
Hughes-Hallett said Marie Curie Cancer Cure aimed to raise about £5m a year through its Great Daffodil Appeal. "If we could also claim Gift Aid on these donations, this would be enough additional revenue to fund about 40 more Marie Curie nurses around the UK," he said.
The group, whose members also include Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and Sir Vernon Ellis, chair of the British Council and the English National Opera, is expected to publish its final report in the summer.