Small Charitable Donations Bill - will it do enough?

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A bill that would allow charities to claim top-up payments on small donations has been introduced to parliament. The Small Charitable Donations Bill introduces the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS). The purpose of GASDS is to enable charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) to claim a Gift Aid style payment on small cash donations up to £20 where it is often difficult to obtain a Gift Aid declaration (bucket collections for example). In general, eligible charities and CASCs will be able to claim top-up payments on up to £5,000 small donations each year.

Cutting down on time and paperwork when it comes to small donations is a move intended to help smaller charities to maximise their fundraising efforts. Although a positive step in many ways, some are skeptical about how many smaller charities will be able to take advantage of this scheme as eligability rests on prior involvement Gift Aid (charities must have already claimed Gift Aid for at least three years out of the preceding seven in order to be eligible) and many may not have had the capacity to do this to date. In addition, charities must have claimed £1 under Gift Aid each year for every £2 they want to claim through the GASDS. Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) have called for a complete overhaul of Gift Aid, claiming that the Government’s proposals fall short of the action needed to 'bring Gift Aid into the 21st century'.

CAF Head of Policy Hannah Terrey said: “It is good that the Government recognises that Gift Aid is too complicated, but the proposals it has published today are far too complex and unlikely to have a major impact on charity fundraising, particularly for small charities."

For more information on the Small Charitable Donations Bill, visit: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/smallcharitabledonations/doc...

For more details about CAF's response, visit: http://www.charitytimes.com/ct/CAF_criticises_Small_Donations_Bill_as_to...