MORE than 200 UK charities have joined a coalition calling on the 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 charities 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 over 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:
“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 £200,000.00, which would significantly help towards covering the shortfall in donations.”
A spokesperson for North East Autism Society said:
“We have had some really generous support from during this time. However, it would be fantastic to be able to claim the additional Gift Aid amount from people who support us, so that we can help more children, young people and adults with autism.”
A spokesperson from Alex TLC – The Leukodystrophy Charity said:
“Small, rare disease charities like ours struggle at the best of times to attract funding. Although the limited financial help from Government has been welcome, we simply won’t be able to continue delivering our services at the level needed, without the measures proposed.”
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.
Support the Gift Aid Emergency Relief Campaign: to add your charity’s name to the supporter list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org