Gift Aid reform is at the top of the Conservative Party’s agenda for the voluntary sector to ease the bureaucratic burden for charities, said shadow charities minister Nick Hurd yesterday.
At an Institute of Fundraising conference ‘Ready for the Recovery’, he said their approach to the sector would be based on three questions:
* What are we doing to make it easier to run a charity?
* What are we coing to change the cultural attitude and encourage greater giving of money and time to the sector: and
* What are we doing to make it easier to do business with the state?
He said that reform of the Gift Aid system, which is currently ‘inefficient and too expensive’ and only used by 46% of donors would reduce the bureaucratic burden on charities, particularly small ones. He said whenever he had spoken to the third sector minister Angela Smith he got a standard response that ‘the sector had not got its act together’.
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, commented that in the last 10 years, ‘this is one area where the sector has been more joined up than any other’.
And dealing with the state, he said is a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ and a ‘wholly unsatisfactory process’ and said there had been ‘too much monitoring and not enough trust’ given to not-for-profit organisations.
However, he said there would need to be more transparency around what work charities do with government.
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