Your Guide to Gift Aid and Charity Fundraising

Volunteers
| 4 min read Crowdfunding

One of the most important questions when it comes to online charitable giving is does this site offer Gift Aid? For those looking for a comprehensive guide to Gift Aid, and an answer to why that question is so essential, you’ve come to the right place.

Gift Aid could not be more simple: it’s all about maximising the amount of money you can give to charity—thanks to a generous government top up scheme. So for newcomers, or those who want to learn more, here is our Gift Aid guidance and advice.

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is one of the most effective ways to give to charity. It is a scheme which adds 25p to every pound donated to registered charities by UK taxpayers. So, for example, if you give £20 to a charity, they can get an extra £5 if you donate with Gift Aid, thus making your contribution worth £25.

Introduced in 1990, the scheme was initially limited to cash gifts of £600 or more. By 2000, the entire concept had been rejigged to apply to all donations, and the changes have had an enormous impact on charities, raising more than £13 billion.

Gift Aid helps both donors and charities in making difference—provided, of course, that the money goes where it’s intended. One thing to watch out for with Gift Aid is whether sites are taking money intended for charities and using them to profit at the expense of good causes.

GoFundMe has never taken fees or profited from Gift Aid. However, crowdfunding site JustGiving takes a slice from Gift Aid they claim on behalf of charities as profit. This site has seen serious accusations that good causes are losing out due to its fee structures.

If you’re surprised, the government are too. As minister Robert Jenrick said, “This is not the intention of Gift Aid, which is to provide more money for good causes and to support charities.”

How does Gift Aid work?

You might be asking yourself “does Gift Aid cost me anything?” The answer is no. Charities claim the extra money from the government on your behalf, which means Gift Aid simply increases the amount you are giving without extra effort on your part. Gift Aid is technically tax relief because when people give to charity, that money has already been taxed. Charities can therefore reclaim the tax you’ve paid, increasing the value of the donation you made without you having to lift a finger. Tip: if you’re a high-rate tax payer, you can claim back even more through your self assessment tax return.

What donation types qualify for Gift Aid?

The charity needs to be registered, and you need to be a taxpayer in the UK with an income of more than £11,000 who has paid income tax or capital gains tax in the current financial year. There are some small exemptions, such as if you are making a donation in return for something else such as a raffle ticket, or if you are donating on someone’s behalf. You also can’t claim Gift Aid if the charity is contributing to the cost of a person’s fundraising event, or on behalf of someone else or a company.

Does Gift Aid cost me anything?

Gift Aid doesn’t cost you, the taxpayer, anything. You only need to provide your name, postcode, and a donation made from a personal bank or building society account.

How does GoFundMe handle Gift Aid?

GoFundMe recently launched charity giving in the UK, where we make sure 100% of the Gift Aid goes directly to charities. Unlike some competitors, GoFundMe won’t make charities pay a subscription free just for using its services. It really is as simple as that: no hidden fees and nothing to worry about.

In stark contrast to our competitors, our low fee structure means GoFundMe is much cheaper for charity fundraisers than JustGiving. Learn more about how the two compare on our page GoFundMe Versus JustGiving.

Gift Aid guidance for people raising money for charity

GoFundMe differs from many other charity fundraising platforms in that there are no hidden fees and the Gift Aid is exactly that – a gift that goes straight to the charity, not to boost our profits. With this information about Gift Aid, we hope you will tick that box the next time you’re giving to charity.

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Written by GoFundMe Team

The GoFundMe Team creates fresh content to help answer common fundraising questions and share proven fundraising tips and tricks to help you reach crowdfunding success.