Freelance Fundraiser’s Jottings

28 August 2008

Letters to the Editor – take advantage!

“Letters to the Editor” are a great way to get some free publicity for your own charity or charities in general. For example, last Saturday’s (23 August 08) Yorkshire Post contained an excellent article by Conal Gregory on the advantages of using tax-efficient giving methods to support charities. However, I spotted a few gaps in his article and emailed a letter to the Editor.

My letter was published, helping to further raise the profile of Gift Aid and other other tax-efficient giving, as well as getting the Yorkshire Institute of Fundraising into the Press:

Giving to charity with the aid of the tax man

From: Graham Richards, chair of the Yorkshire Institute of Fundraising, Skelton on Ure, Ripon.

I WOULD like to thank Conal Gregory for his excellent article on the benefits of tax-efficient giving to charities (Yorkshire Post, August 23).

I am pleased to report that the message is getting through, as the number of people using these schemes is rising continually.

However, I would like to add four further points to Conal’s article.

Firstly, he mentions the benefits to higher-rate tax-payers who can claim back the difference between their gift and the basic rate claimed under gift aid. There is nothing to stop these people also giving this money to their charity, as it will not have cost them any more to do so.

Secondly, when filling out an annual tax return, there is now an option to donate to charity all or some of any tax return you are due.

Thirdly, making a gift in your will to charity is not only tax-efficient, it could also enable you to make the biggest charitable gift you ever make, especially if you are cash poor, but asset rich. The great thing is that you will never miss the money, as it only gets paid after you no longer require it.

Lastly, there is one other area where the Government could make a big difference to donations to charity.
Under the old “deed of covenant” scheme, companies could make donations for which the charities could claim back the tax. Sadly, under gift aid, this is not the case. The thinking was that companies would give more, knowing they would benefit from the tax relief. Unfortunately, companies have not gone along with this and so the charities lose out.

Making corporate donations tax-efficient for charities would go a long way to helping them survive these tough economic times.

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