THE Church of England has joined a coalition of more than 200 UK charities calling on the Government to temporarily increase the level of Gift Aid that can be claimed.
The #NeverMoreNeeded campaign was launched last week to keep charitable services running during the pandemic and beyond.
Other organisations giving their support include the Charities Aid Foundation, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Charity Finance Group, and the Charity Tax Group. They are requesting a two-year increase to the rate of Gift Aid to ease the financial burden on charities, who are having to plan for a 24-per-cent loss to their total income for the year ahead.
The proposed Gift Aid change would mean that a £100 donation from a UK taxpayer would increase to £133.33 for the charity once Gift Aid has been claimed: currently, it is £125. The Gift Aid claimed on every eligible donation would therefore increase by one third, up from the current one quarter. The campaign’s supporters say that it could secure an additional £450 million nationally to support charity work.
The C of E’s National Adviser on Giving and Income Generation, Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood, said: “The Church of England has contributed to the consultation and we are very supportive of the Gift Aid Emergency Relief Campaign. We have seen remarkable generosity and commitment from our church members throughout this difficult time. There has been a significant increase in the number of parishes being able to receive online gifts via their website or A Church Near You page. . . We would be delighted if the campaign was successful.”
Canterbury diocese has added its voice to the campaign. The director of finance for the diocese, Douglas Gibb, said: “We are incredibly grateful for all the support we have received during the coronavirus pandemic, and this additional increase would greatly assist our journey of recovery.
“Our churches are reliant on donations taken during services, and that has, of course, been unable to happen. Looking ahead now, if we can secure an increase in the Gift Aid we receive, it will be a boost that will be felt across the diocese.”