Background I started working at the hospice as Director of Finance in January 2017. This was my first role working for a hospice and was a steep learning curve. The Times (2018) reported that charities are missing out on claiming gift aid. Weakley (2018) stated this amounts to over 600 million of potential funds for charities. There was a cumbersome system and lack of understanding of the advantages of gift aid had resulted in a backlog and missed opportunities to increase income by claiming this tax break. This was a huge challenge. However, this was a form of revenue which could not be ignored in a climate where palliative needs of our community are increasing and every penny counts towards their care.
Method A clear guide was produced to create an understanding of all issues raised and an action plan set up through a collaborative process. This included education to understand the importance of gift aid to our charity thus motivating the fundraising and retail team to get results. Crucially we sourced a team of volunteers to review over 14 000 donor declaration forms in preparation for input into an electronic database. We also created a streamlined system to allow for quarterly claims and provided training.
Result We are now in a much better place. The pride created within our team when our first claim from the backlog came in was palpable. There is now a vibrant culture in championing gift aid. All HMRC queries were resolved and potential penalties avoided. The backlog has been cleared and a robust streamlined system is in place. Crucially our retail gift aid has doubled in 12 months. We have motivated teams who work collaboratively to get results ultimately benefiting the care we give.
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