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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Gift Aid warning to charities over furniture donations

This news post is over 7 years old

​Charities must make more from Gift Aid contributions

Large and small charities could end up missing out on valuable gift aid income from furniture donations because volunteers aren’t trained to ask the right questions from donors.

With 2015 fast approaching, many will be using the time to give their homes a much needed revamp or spring clean and with the bags of clothes, toys and usual charitable donations, many will want to donate furniture items too.

However, unless donors state that they are happy for Gift Aid to be applied to the item, a charity will be unable to claim back the additional income.

Furniture donations often carry a much higher value and with a 25% Gift Aid return available from the government, such donations can dramatically improve a charity’s income.

It’s so important for charities to brief volunteers on the Gift Aid process, so they can feel confident asking the right questions at the right time

As furniture stores rise in popularity with charities, there is rising concern that a lack of appropriate procedures for claiming Gift Aid are meaning that many are missing out on a substantial amount of revenue.

Alastair Petrie from Gift Aid IT specialists BMc Azurri said: “As it stands, the pressure is placed on delivery drivers to ask donors for a signature to confirm Gift Aid on the item. This isn’t practical as delivery drivers are often volunteers and sometimes people aren’t around when the items are collected. There also needs to be some prequalification before Gift Aid can be applied, such as checking items have fire retardant label, which is why the process needs to start much earlier on in the donation process.

“It’s so important for charities to brief their volunteers on the Gift Aid process, so that they can feel confident asking the right questions at the right time. Most people are more than happy to give consent for Gift Aid and as furniture donations are often a valuable source of income, it is frustrating to think that many will miss out on income over the Christmas and New Year period that could make a huge difference in 2015.”

BMc Azurri works with over 100 charities across the UK. Any charity seeking advice and guidance on Gift Aid can contact the BMc Azurri at

BMcAzurri is advising charities to follow the following protocol when it comes to Gift Aid requests on furniture:

1. Improve knowledge and training of staff that areresponsible for the first stage of collection, which is often the initialtelephone, web or email enquiry to the store or warehouse

2. Have a standard set of questions for the volunteer to ask, including the quality of the item, a fire label and also ask them for Gift Aid permission at this point

3. If permission is given, complete a Gift Aid declaration form then and there, including the donor's details, so that the driver can hand over the form for signing upon collection

4. Provide collection drivers with Gift Aid barcodes which they can simply attached as needed to both the goods and the GA forms to ensure they remain linked.



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