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Gift Aid encourages donations, poll finds

This post is 8 months old

New research has shown members of the public are more likely to give if their donation is topped up by the government

Charity supporters are more likely to hand over their money if it is topped up by the government, a new study has revealed.

Four in 10 people who already donate money to charity said government incentives such as top-ups make them more likely to give, according to a new survey from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

The poll signalled that government incentives, such as Gift Aid and match funding, play a crucial role in increasing amounts given to good causes.

The research also found that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic more than half (55%) of those aged 35-44 were worried about their household income over the next six months. Amongst 25-34 year olds it was 51%, while for those aged 16-24 it was 36%. Only 24% of those aged over 65 were very worried or quite worried about their household income in the near future.

A coalition of leading voices in UK charities has recently called for a temporary increase in Gift Aid relief to help charities of all sizes trying to cope with the impact of the pandemic. Charities have started to announce job losses and service cuts and some fear they will have to shut their doors to the millions of people who rely on their services.

The proposed Gift Aid change would mean that a £100 donation from a UK tax payer would increase to £133.33 for the charity once Gift Aid had been claimed (compared to £125 at present). As a result, the Gift Aid claimed on every eligible donation would increase by one-third, up from the current one-quarter. The group has called for the increase to be in place for two years while charities work to recover from the crisis.

Susan Pinkney, head of research at CAF, said: “People want to do all they can and these survey results demonstrate that with extra encouragement from the government, they will dig deeper to help more if they can.

“It is heartening to see that despite the economic worries facing so many UK households, the willingness to help those in need is still very strong.”

In April, amid lockdown, the UK Government pledged to match the amount raised during The BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser. The general public raised £33.5 million, which the government match funded, with the first £20 million going to the National Emergencies Trust and the remainder split between BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief.

Over 70,000 charities claimed Gift Aid in 2019 and more than 120,000 charities are known to be registered for Gift Aid and the Gift Aid Donations Scheme, so the proposal has the potential to help both large and small organisations.



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