A survey of charities on the South Coast of England reveals that most of them are confident that their income will remain static or increase this year and into 2014.
The Income Trends survey was carried out by Sussex-based chartered accountants and chartered tax advisers Carpenter Box LLP, together with other members of MHA, a national group of independent accountants and business advisers. They survey 163 not-for-profit organisations.
Many charities surveyed are of course still experiencing difficulties: 36% reported a drop in donations during 2012/13 and 8% reported a significant decrease.
Online and mobile giving income was “stable”. Gift Aid was actively promoted by 72% of the organisations.
Although the majority of charities (66%) surveyed were exploring and testing new ways to generate income, 44% of respondents admitted that they had not considered the VAT implications of new income generation streams.
Eileen Houghton, Head of the Not for Profit sector team at Carpenter Box said: “Maybe, unsurprisingly, the majority of charities surveyed are looking for new and unique ways to generate income, suggesting that the drop in donations is triggering imaginative solutions to new challenges. However, charities should not ignore the importance of researching the VAT and tax rules, the legal aspects and the governance issues before implementing any strategy.”
She added that, even though few respondents had undergone a HMRC Gift Aid audit in recent years, there was a chance that, with returns now being filed online, “charities may see an increase in this type of check from HMRC.”
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