By Sinead Costello – Client Services Director
With charities looking for ways to boost their income as the energy crisis develops, living costs rise, and people’s need for support inevitably grows with it, there is one area where gains could quite easily be made – Gift Aid.
Gift Aid is worth more than £1.3 billion annually to UK charities, yet with some £500m (and counting) estimated to go unclaimed each year, many good causes could be benefitting from it a lot more.
A recent survey by Charities Aid Foundation found that while the number of supporters using Gift Aid is rising, almost a quarter of eligible supporters still don’t use it when they give to charity.
Some of this, CAF says, is because the rules – that they must make a Gift Aid declaration verbally or in writing before a charity can reclaim tax on their donations and have paid UK Income and/or Capital Gains Tax during that tax year – aren’t always made adequately clear to individuals.
Also, an issue that is out of sight is easily out of mind. Without frequent reminders about Gift Aid and the good it does, people either don’t realise it’s an option or just forget to tick that box.
But when Gift Aid earns charities an extra 25p for every £1 given, it’s really important to ensure your charity isn’t missing out.
The better-informed people are, and the easier charities make it for them, the more they will see an uptake. With our telephone fundraising campaigns, we encourage Gift Aid take-up in virtually every call to ensure our charities don’t miss out. We explain clearly what it is and why it’s so important to every supporter, empowering them in their giving.
We also run several follow up campaigns that are solely dedicated to encouraging Gift Aid take-up from those eligible supporters who haven’t yet ticked the box or to those whose tax status has changed.
The important thing is to keep it front of mind, include it in your annual strategy, building it into every communication. It can then be easy to develop supporters’ awareness and understanding by implementing just a few key steps across your fundraising and communications processes:
- Make sure there’s a Gift Aid tick box included in all donation appeals
- Ensure Gift Aid is always built in as an option to supporters giving online, by phone or by text
- Communicate the value of Gift Aid and how supporters can use it to boost donations across all the channels you’re using
- Don’t just keep it for fundraising communications – mention it when you’re saying thank you to supporters too
- Take part in the sector’s annual Gift Aid awareness day to spread the #TickTheBox message, thank supporters and share the impact it has on your charity
Promoting Gift Aid really is a win-win situation. Supporters already want to help your cause and Gift Aid gives them a way of doing even more good at no expense to themselves, which can add to their feel-good factor. Every tick means more vital income for the cause.