Charities back Gift Aid boost call

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More than 200 organisations have backed a campaign which aims to boost donations during the coronavirus crisis 

23rd July 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Charities have rallied behind a call for Gift Aid to be boosted.

More than 200 UK charities have joined a coalition calling on the UK Government to temporarily increase the level of Gift Aid that can be claimed in order to help keep vital charitable services running during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

The proposal to introduce a Gift Aid Emergency Relief package released last month by a lead group of charities has now drawn broad support from organisations of all sizes working both locally and nationally across the UK as well as churches and other groups.

The call for enhanced Gift Aid came as the charity 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. This compares to £125.00 as is currently the case. As a result, the Gift Aid claimed on every eligible donation would increase by one-third, up from the current one-quarter. The group have called for the increase to be in place for two years while charities work to recover from the crisis.

Over 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, so the proposal has the potential to help organisations of all sizes.

A spokesperson for the NSPCC said the move would make a crucial difference at a time of increased demand for help. He said: “Gift Aid is our third largest income source and plays a vital role in ensuring we are able to provide the services and support needed for children and young people.  This proposal would increase our monthly Gift Aid income by an estimated £200,000, which would significantly help towards covering the shortfall in donations.”

In a statement, the coalition proposing the relief package said: “The broad support that we’ve seen across the charity sector for the Gift Aid Emergency Relief package shows just how important these changes would be for charitable services and beneficiaries across the UK. 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.”

Other supporters of the proposal include diverse charities such as Marie Curie, the Scouts, Alzheimer’s Society and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.