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How to use Gift Aid to boost your fundraising

#tickthebox and make a world of difference

#tickthebox and make a world of difference

Every year over £500 million is left unclaimed by charities because people aren’t ticking the Gift Aid box. One small tick in the box boosts a donation by 25 percent. £10 suddenly becomes £12.50, £100 to £125. So what’s stopping fundraisers? Often it’s the fear of not knowing what Gift Aid is and if they are eligible.

For Gift Aid to work, the donor needs to have paid at least as much in income or capital gains tax in that tax year as the charity wants to claim in Gift Aid. So to boost a £1 donation you’ll need to have paid 25p in tax in the same tax year (6th April to 5th April) that the donation is made. It doesn’t matter if you’re unemployed or retired at the time of giving – as long as you’ve paid that amount or more in that tax year then you’re fine.

You can only tick the box when the money you are donating is yours. So you can’t, for example, have a bake sale, sell slices of cake for cash and then tick the box when you donate that money to charity. Gift Aid can, however, be claimed for money raised by people donating to come to an event, real or virtual, as long as it is a voluntary donation rather than a fixed entry price.

If you need a set ticket price to ensure costs are covered rather than asking for a voluntary donation then Gift Aid cannot be claimed on the ticket price. You can, however, do a bit of both. Have a set ticket price of say, £20, and then a suggested voluntary donation of £10 which you can claim Gift Aid on – boosting it to £12.50. You just need to be clear that the donation cost is entirely voluntary to those that donate.

You don’t need to do anything other than spread the word. Virgin Money Giving will automatically ask your sponsors if they’re eligible for Gift Aid and pass the money to your charity in full.

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