Charities could miss out over Christmas unless Gift Aid procedures refined

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Many will be looking to clean out and revamp their homes over the Christmas and New Year period, and along with the usual bags of clothes, toys and other commonly donated items, many will want to donate furniture too. Furniture donations – usually more valuable than others – can dramatically improve a charity’s income (especially with a 25% Gift Aid return available from the government), but only where donator state that they are happy for Gift Aid to be applied to the item; otherwise the charity will be unable to claim back the extra income. As furniture stores rise in popularity with charities, so too rises concern that a lack of appropriate procedures for claiming Gift Aid is causing many charities to miss out on a substantial amount of revenue helpful site.  Alastair says of the matter: “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.” We advise charities to improve the knowledge and training of the staff who are responsible for the first stage of collection; giving them a standard set of questions to ask in order to simplify the Gift Aid process. If permission is given (and most people are more than happy to have Gift Aid applied to their donations), we advise the charity to complete a Gift Aid declaration form right there and then, to be signed on collection; Gift Aid barcodes can then be attached to the items and GA forms in order to ensure that the two remain linked. “It’s so important for charities to brief their volunteers on the Gift Aid process,” Alastair recommends, “so that they can feel confident asking the right questions at the right time… 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 2015/2016.”