Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme: Is it really working for charities?

December 10, 2015 at 12:15

Charity Finance Group has launched a survey on Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. But why are we doing this and how can you help?

After repeated calls by CFG, the Institute of Fundraising and National Council of Voluntary Organisation (NCVO), the government has brought forward its review of the Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS). On 9th December 2015 the government launched a call for evidence (which CFG recommends that you complete!) for a review into GASDS that will run till 2nd March 2016. While we welcomed the introduction of this scheme in April 2013, in trying to help small charities there were, and are still, major concerns about how effective the scheme is.

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What is the Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme?

This was started with the aim of allowing organisations to claim Gift Aid-style top up payments on cash donations (cash still being the most popular way for      the public to donate money). Charities can claim up to 25% top-up payments on cash donations of £20 or less (think of a bucket collection outside of a supermarket). This can be done without the need for the donor to fill in a Gift Aid declaration form.

Why do we need a review of the Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme?

Current figures show that GASDS has only generated £21 million for the sector since April 2013, far below the £105 million that was planned. As the saying goes ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ and this is not what we at CFG want for the charity sector.

What do we want to see changed?

We fear that the complexity of the scheme and the eligibility criteria has deterred micro and small charities and places unnecessary barriers in the way of charities that are new to fundraising. We would like to see the rules over matching relaxed, the eligibility criteria loosened. We also think that charities should be able to claim Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme on other methods of donations; cheque, text donations etc. There are other issues around connected charities and community building rules, to further complicate matters for small charities. Changes to all of these issues raised by CFG will be a great help to charities trying to use GASDS to the full effect.

What we’re doing:

But we really need you to tell us about your experience with GASDS with our survey, done in partnership with NCVO and the Institute of Fundraising. By telling us of your experience of GASDS we will be better able to influence the government during this review as CFG want as many voices as possible to be heard. You’ll also be in for a chance of winning a free place at our Gift Aid Conference in February 2016!

CFG want to make the scheme a success and help charities to fundraise and diversify their income, especially in a time when many charities are struggling to cover costs. This is an important step to help level the playing field for many charities that raise money, predominately, through individual small cash donations. CFG wants to ensure that charities are able to claim all the money that the sector is eligible for.

If you have any questions or comments about the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, please let us know by posting a comment below.

Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GASDS