Church and Charities missing out on £600m in unclaimed Gift Aid

According to a 2018 report from the government, UK church and charities are missing out on £600m in gift aid donations because people are not enabling them to claim gift aid on their donations.

According to a 2018 report from the government, UK church and charities are missing out on £600m in gift aid donations because people are not enabling them to claim gift aid on their donations.

According to research, Gift Aid was not claimed on one third of donations that were eligible for it, costing the sector £600m in unclaimed donations. It also found that £179m is being claimed erroneously by people who don’t understand the exact requirements of the process.

HMRC commissioned research on Gift Aid from consultancy Quadrangle, and has published the report today, which estimates that donations are worth £8.9bn. To do the research, 1,377 people were surveyed in late 2016 and early 2017. Research found that 95 per cent of people had donated to charity in the 12 months prior to being questioned.


• 78 per cent of the population had given money through collection tins or buckets, raising £620m for charity. But 40 per cent of people gave via direct debit, raising £3.61bn.
• There was more chance of people including Gift Aid when then made a donation online, with 73 per cent doing so, than by other methods. 59 per cent of direct debit donations, 50 per cent of charity envelope/cheque donations and 39 per cent of donations at a place of worship included Gift Aid.
• The research found that awareness of Gift Aid was relatively low, with nearly a quarter of the public unsure about whether they were eligible and 18 per cent getting their status wrong.

Gift Aid Awareness Day

The Charity Finance Group plans their second Gift Aid Awareness Day, which will take place on 3 October 2019. The event began in October of 2018 and the umbrella body will also commission research about how best to explain Gift Aid to the public and produce material charities can use to help with event.

The CFG has said that their overall aim is to encourage charities to educate staff and volunteers on Gift Aid so that they can educate their family and friends. Speaking at the launch last year, Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of CFG said: “Gift Aid is vital to the charity sector and supports the work of tens of thousands of organisations. Without it, our sector would reach fewer people and deliver less impact. CFG wants to give practical support to charities so that we can boost the amount of Gift Aid claimed. At a time when charities are struggling to meet demand, every penny counts.”

Gift Aid Alternatives

According to the research, nearly 80 per cent of people donate by giving money to collection tins or buckets. This type of donation method is not normally eligible for Gift Aid, but charities can use another mechanism, the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.  GASDS was introduced in 2013 as a way for charities to claim on small cash donations, but uptake by the sector has been lower than expected.

The Treasury has now written to 50,000 charities urging them to use the scheme.  Robert Jenrick, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “The UK has thousands of brilliant charities, all working hard to make people’s lives better. Through Gift Aid, we are already giving charities an extra £1.3bn of funding so they can continue their important work. “We know how crucial this funding is. This is why we’ve just written to 50,000 charities to tell them about the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, which makes it even easier for charities to claim a 25 per cent top-up on their donations.”

Gift Aid Envelopes

The population is mixed in its understanding of Gift Aid, with just over a quarter (26%) having ‘good’ understanding and a further third (33%) ‘fairly good’ understanding. The remaining donors have a ‘fairly poor’ or ‘poor’ understanding (30% and 11% respectively). Our Gift Aid Envelope products are the perfect way to collect your donations and ensure Gift Aid is applied to each and every donation.

With a wide range of fully customisable printing, each envelope is bespoke printed with a Gift Aid Declaration, ensuring customers are aware of the Gift Aid process and that it is applied to each and every donation. You can view our full range of Gift Aid Envelopes here.

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