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Charity shop staff training boosts Gift Aid income

Gift Aid IT specialists BMc Azurri have been piloting training sessions with charity shop staff with the aim of increasing Gift Aid income. The company reports that two shops at different charities have managed to increase the value of Gift Aid returns by 400% as a result.
BMc Azzuri already provide technology solutions for charity shops to help them handle Gift Aid donations on donated goods. But the company realised that many charities were still not benefiting from Gift Aid via their shops as much as they could. Indeed, the proportion of UK charities reporting no income from Gift Aid (across all fundraising activities, not just trading) increased 8% to 50% in 2014, according to the Blackbaud 2014 State of the Not-for-Profit Industry report.
So it has run a number of training and refresher courses in charity shops to help improve staff (paid and volunteer) knowledge and skills.
Two stores in particular, part of the Age UK and RSPCA network of branches, subsequently achieved an increase in Gift Aid returns of 400% following refresher training in January 2015. This equated to an increase from 4% of sales to 22%.
There also the opportunity of raising more now that the maximum annual amount that can be claimed through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) will rise from £5,000 to £8,000.

Gift Aid training with charity shop staff

Charity shop staff receiving Gift Aid training

Alastair Petrie of BMC Azurri said:

“The problem is that when Gift Aid performance is low, the natural assumption is that the technology needs changing, or that the only way it will improve is to invest large sums of money in upgrading to a new system. What our pilot refresher training programme has revealed is that for many charities, their current technology is more than adequate for the job, but their staff lack the knowledge or confidence to execute the Gift Aid process properly. With more focus given to supporting volunteers and educating them on how to best approach the subject of Gift Aid donation, charities can make a dramatic improvement to income simply through the better utilisation of existing resources.”



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