Is manual Gift Aid processing costing your charity?

More than any other kind of organisation, charities must work hard on making every penny count. Anything you can do to reduce costs is vital when you’re focused on making as big a difference as possible…

When you think that in 2017 we Brits donated £10.3 billion to good causes, you can bet that those supporters are anxious to see their money going where it’s needed most. But despite all the fabulous volunteering that supports so many charities, they can’t run on fresh air.

Fact Check: Estimates are that on average UK charities apply 60-70% of their donated funds on actual charitable work. The money that doesn’t get to ‘the grass roots’ typically goes on things like premises, marketing, staff, office systems and overheads.

And as a specific example, just administering the HMRC’s Gift Aid scheme can consume mountains of time and resources, but on the other hand, the failure to keep accurate records and an audit trail may result in stiff penalties from HMRC.

Gift Aid made simple

Gift Aid is of course welcomed by both good causes and donors. It means that for every £1 given, the charity can receive an extra 25p from HMRC. But Gift Aid claims have traditionally meant charities having to handle, and store, a great deal of paperwork – much of it centred around processing each individual donor’s Gift Aid declaration and keeping accurate records of any changes. HMRC requires that it all needs to meet their recording and audit requirements, and failure to do so, can result in stiff repayment penalties for a number of prior years, and interest charged on any over payment

So surely, automating Gift Aid processing has to make a lot of sense for every charity.

Because rather than manually handling each case, with the right combination of scanner and software application, each claim can be properly made and registered in a fraction of a second, reducing man hours and cost.

A best solution checklist

That’s the theory. But what should you expect from such a solution in terms of real cost-cutting ability and regulatory compliance?

  • First and foremost, make sure the system is proven to meet all the Gift Aid requirements of HMRC
  • It should be simple and easy to use
  • It must be reliably secure, with the ability to obscure donor’s card details and other sensitive, private information.
  • Ensure that you are able to instantly retrieve images and data.
  • It should allow instant, straightforward access to satisfy donor and auditor enquiries
  • As a processing tool, the system should provide a speedy and efficient workflow – every time, all the time
  • Be certain that the solution can be relied on to provide a full audit history
  • Make sure the solution you choose is tailored to match the scale of your charity’s activity – one size definitely doesn’t fit all!

Taking the time to identify the best system for your needs before committing really pays dividends. Recommendations from other users with similar needs to your own can be very helpful. And of course at Hague, we’re always ready to discuss our own proven-in-practice Solchar TJ application.

Our Charity & Gift Aid software specialists are experienced in providing exactly the right Solchar TJ solution for charities of all sizes, in all kinds of sectors.

Just get in touch to discover more.