Gift Aid Emergency Relief coalition grows to 200 charities

More than 200 charities have joined a coalition calling for the temporary increase in the level of Gift Aid to help the sector tackle financial challenges emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The campaign group features charity sector organisations including Charities Aid Foundation, Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Finance Group and wants to see the level of Gift Aid claimed on every eligible donation increased by a third.

The current increase is one-quarter. This would mean that under the proposed Gift Aid Emergency Relief package a £100 donation would increase from £125 to £133.33 once Gift Aid had been claimed.

The group wants the increase in place for two years, in a move that they estimate will increase charity sector income by £450m.

Government rules out increase

However, earlier this month the government dismissed calls to increase Gift Aid.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister John Whittingdale said that less than a fifth of UK charities claim Gift Aid so any increase would only help a “small proportion of charities”.

He added that the government prefers to raise awareness of Gift Aid among charities, rather than raise payments.

Among charities involved is the NSPCC. A spokesperson for the charity 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.”

Another is North East Autism Society, with a spokesperson adding: “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 statement from the coalition 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 charity supporters of the campaign include Marie Curie, the Scouts, Alzheimer’s Society and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

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