Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

GIFT AID> Gift Aid on sponsorship?

Posted on 14 May 2004 at 12:05 pm
Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 12:05 pm #1686

    Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 10:19:04 -0000
    From: Sue Fidler

    Hi

    we are trying to work out whether it is worth claiming gift aid on all individual sponsors gifts.. or rather what level to collect (we
    currently collect on sponsorship over £20).. the issue being data entry off 10s of 1000s of gifts..

    Does anyone have a policy.. view.. way out of the labour?

    Sue

    Sue Fidler

    IT & Internet Manager

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 12:05 pm #6386

    Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 19:55:33 -0000
    From: Julian Smyth

    I’m trying to understand what Sue is saying. Does she not record every
    gift? If not, is there no audit trail and how do you prevent massive fraud?
    If so, can’t you just press the Gift Aid button on your relational database
    (if memory serves, you have either Raiser’s Edge or Alms) and run the claim
    automatically?

    I’m clearly missing something here and needs must have more information.

    Julian Smyth
    Principal Consultant, ASK Associates
    Tel/Fax: 01494 447115
    Mobile: 07798 826105
    Email: [email]julian@ask.org.uk[/email]
    Website: ASK Associates – Educational Fundraising Consultants

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 12:06 pm #6387

    Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 09:14:44 +0000
    From: Amanda Bringans

    We have started an off system claim mechanism, for the many hundreds of
    smaller donations, based on the supposition that many of the people who
    sponsor event participants are doing so because they are supporting a mate,
    and not because they feel an affiliation with the cause. It’s excel based,
    and while it means we are not using our donor database to its fullest
    extent, it is quicker!! Our IT project manager doesn’t like it needless to
    say… prior to that our cut-off was £5.

    Amanda Bringans
    Macmillan Cancer Relief

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 12:07 pm #6388

    Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 09:27:47 +0000
    From: Amanda Bringans

    She’s talking about all the hundreds of lists of people who sponsor little
    Jimmy to be quiet for ten minutes and give £1, for example. Is it worth
    recording each donor on the system? A dilemma many of us face.

    Amanda Bringans
    Macmillan Cancer Relief

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 12:10 pm #6389

    Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 10:11:40 -0000
    From: Mecca Ibrahim

    I’ve only just joined the list and to introduce myself to those who =
    don’t know me, I’m the marketing manager for Justgiving’s online =
    sponsorship forms.

    Just to add my opinions to this thread I agree with Amanda, particularly =
    in what she says about the motivations behind people supporting their =
    friends. Our system for charities records and reclaims Gift Aid for all =
    UK tax payers sponsoring their friends online (regardless of amount =
    sponsored). Although, many people who sponsor do not tick the box to opt =
    in to request more information from a charity.

    However, our system sends out an automatic “thank you” email to all the =
    people who sponsor. This can be personalised by the charity and the =
    person doing the sponsored event. It gives the charity a great chance =
    to say thank you and to direct those people back to their website, or to =
    sign up for a newsletter, call a telephone number or whatever.

    Hope this helps.

    Mecca Ibrahim
    Justgiving.com

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 12:11 pm #6390

    Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 10:17:37 -0000
    From: Sue Fidler

    Hi

    (Julian.. I am here.. You can ask me..)

    Its Exactly as Amanda says.. Of course we record every gift and have an
    audit trail.. BUT

    We have literally thousands of people sponsoring their mates for £2, none of
    them want mailings or are really supporting us – and you don’t want to put
    them off by demanding their address to claim gift aid unless its worth it.

    For example.,. We have 4000 people doing an event in June.. If they all get
    20 sponsors over £5.. 80,000 database entries

    Then theres the data entry.. I agree with the offline system idea.. Data
    enter them on excel, keep them away from anything that might get them
    mailed.. So the question is what level of ‘sponsorship’ gift it is worth
    trying to get the address for and doing the data entry.

    Sue

    Sue Fidler

    IT & Internet Manager

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 12:11 pm #6391

    Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 10:31:36 -0000
    From: Larry Boyd

    Since I just looked at the Inland Revenue regs on Gift Aid for a
    recent query, I’d suggest that everyone should look at them too if you
    have questions. It is made fairly clear there.

    1. Inland Revenue doesn’t require you to keep data in an electronic
    format. If you do not wish to communicate further with these sponsors,
    you don’t need to input their details onto the database.

    2. If you design your sponsorship form correctly, you can give
    sponsors the chance to opt for Gift Aid with a tick box. You don’t
    need their full address. A name and post code is sufficient. The
    correct Gift Aid text should be on the sponsorship form.

    3. Just photocopy the sponsorship forms and use these to file the Gift
    Aid claim. Cross out those that don’t opt for Gift Aid and add up the
    rest. Multiply by 22/78 and there’s your profit. Do it, please — the
    government wants you to have it.

    4. The Inland Revenue will vet sponsorship forms if you ask them.

    5. If you still don’t think it is worth receiving 20 odd percent on
    tens of thousands of sub 10 pound gifts, please get in touch with me.
    I believe we could help you out for oh say a fifty percent commission.
    Let’s see that’s 11/78 of 10,000 x £5 (average gift) = £7051– yes we
    could do it for that.

    ++++++++++++++
    Larry Boyd
    Tools for Self Reliance
    Website http://www.tfsr.org
    ++++++++++++++++
    Practical help for practical people

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 6:59 pm #6392

    Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 11:04:52 -0000
    From: Julian Smyth

    < of smaller donations, based on the supposition that many of the people who
    sponsor event participants are doing so because they are supporting a =
    mate, and not because they feel an affiliation with the cause.>>

    Aargh! So, one has on the one hand list brokers making millions selling
    charities the subscription list of Country & Garden or Tatler whilst you
    are throwing away potential future donors, who have already made some
    support to you, upon a “supposition”?

    On my supposition that there is a Gift Aid check box on the sponsorship
    form, then my advice is to process every single one, add them to your
    relational database, increase your potential giving constituency,
    develop them through good relationship fundraising practice and watch them
    flower into regular and substantial supporters.

    No offence to Sue who made a genuine request, but it does gall me how
    full this forum is of people asking how little they have to do for donors
    rather than how much. Whether we are talking about acknowledging gifts,
    mailing dormant donors, producing decent annual reports and who to send
    them to,
    returning the phrase “face-to-face” to mean a genuine mutually agreed
    upon meeting etc., the key point MUST be to develop the relationship between
    the cause and the donor and that in turn must mean making resources
    available to do this. Fundraising is an investment, not a way to free
    money. The
    sooner a charity accepts this whole-heartedly and goes the extra mile, the
    sooner the funds will start rolling in.

    Rant over.

    Julian Smyth
    Principal Consultant, ASK Associates
    Tel/Fax: 01494 447115
    Mobile: 07798 826105
    Email: [email]julian@ask.org.uk[/email]
    Website: ASK Associates – Educational Fundraising Consultants

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 7:00 pm #6393

    Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 11:30:32 -0000
    From: Sue Fidler

    You star Larry.. What a wonderful and informative answer.. I will pass it on
    to the fundraisers immediately cos I think it answers their prayers!

    Sue

    Sue Fidler

    IT & Internet Manager

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 10:14 pm #6394

    Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 12:18:53 +0000
    From: Tina Shilleto

    Julian

    Your rant is interesting, and in an ideal world I’m sure you’d be absolutely
    right.

    I have to say though, that the world I live in isn’t quite so rosy. I can
    honestly say that if a friend comes to me with a sponsorship form / selling
    raffle tickets / dressed as a clown and shaking a donation tin, most of the
    time I don’t even look at who the charity is that they are representing –
    although I always tend to give them a donation. So in effect, I’m not giving
    to a ’cause’, I’m giving to a friend.

    I find it incredibly annoying when I receive mail or messages from obscure
    or well known charities that I have no interest in whatsoever – it’s even
    worse when you get targeted in a mailshot by a charity you already support
    because they have a different version of your name on a mailing list than
    the one you are registered with them under (Tina = Christina = a lot of
    duplication!). Too much effort can change apathy into annoyance – and there
    is a potential future donor lost.

    Yes, by all accounts, speak to and build relationships with those donors who
    have shown interest by giving directly to you, but recognise that there are
    different levels of donors – some of whom simply do not care who you are or
    what you do!

    Tina Shilleto
    Development Officer, Forestry Commission
    [email]tina.shilleto@forestry.gsi.gov.uk[/email]

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 10:15 pm #6395

    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 12:19:16 -0000
    From: Sue Fidler

    Im sorry I set off a rant Julian

    But on a purely practical bases there is no point spending the time and
    money to data capture Jo Bloggs who sponsored his mate 50p to sit in a bath
    of custard.

    That ‘donor’ isnt engaging with the charity at all.. They are sponsoring a
    mate..

    So we add them to the database (cost)
    Start sending them mailings (cost)
    They are annoyed cos they didn’t want mailings but forgot to tick the DPA box
    and ‘how did they get my name anyway’.. (reputation)
    A year and three appeals later analysis shows they have never given a gift..

    All for 50p plus gift aid.

    None of us have the spare capacity for this sort of DM.

    Sue

    Sue Fidler

    IT & Internet Manager

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 10:16 pm #6396

    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 13:10:48 -0000
    From: Mecca Ibrahim

    All interesting points Tina’s point about the level of interest in your =
    charity, I’d totally agree with.

    We have found the same and that people are sponsoring their “friends” in =
    a lot of cases rather than the “charity”. However, I will repeat what =
    I’ve said before, our system sends out an automatic “thank you” email to =
    all the people who sponsor. This can be personalised by the charity and =
    the person doing the sponsored event. It gives the charity a great =
    chance to say thank you and to direct those people back to their =
    website, or to sign up for a newsletter, call a telephone number or =
    whatever – but it’s that sponsors choice as to what to do next – if =
    anything!

    Saying “thank you” by email in this way costs nothing more than it costs =
    to use our service and it can give you a chance of developing the =
    relationship with that sponsor which who *may* then be nurtured into =
    something greater. It’s a case of using technology to cheaply do =
    something that you may have felt to costly to do before.

    People in the States are sending emails to people before they send them =
    a piece of direct mail and this is increasing response rates and paying =
    for the cost of the emails, so it’s all part and parcel of the same =
    package.

    Mecca Ibrahim
    Marketing Manager – Justevents

    08000 286 183 – Freephone helpline
    +44 0207 025 1500 – Switchboard

    Justevents – Sponsorship made easy!
    http://www.justgiving.com/events/default.asp

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 10:17 pm #6397

    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 14:04:11 -0000
    From: Julian Smyth

    Many thanks to those respondents who have engaged in such a positive and
    lively debate on this subject.

    However, I think Sue and Tina miss my point. How does one begin a
    relationship? What is relationship fundraising all about? Surely it is to
    translate a donor from 50p in a tin to a legacy with everything in between
    during the lifetime of the donor. The single bit of sponsorship for cousin
    Willy is surely a more positive starting point than one’s subscription to an
    up-market magazine, living in a desirable postcode, or the fact that one
    already gives regularly to a wholly unrelated charity? And yet that is
    exactly what list brokers are selling you. And if you do neither of these
    things, how exactly are you going to grow your donorbase?

    The fact is that information is potential and a lack of it is stagnation. I
    don’t think one should throw away anybody who could develop into a regular
    and committed supporter.

    PS How come it takes a week or more for my postings to arrive on the
    forum and yet the responses to it get posted within an hour or two?

    Julian Smyth
    Principal Consultant, ASK Associates
    Tel/Fax: 01494 447115
    Mobile: 07798 826105
    Email: [email]julian@ask.org.uk[/email]
    Website: http://www.ask.org.uk

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 10:18 pm #6398

    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 15:49:40 +0000
    From: Andrew Pring

    It is all an energy thing. It is where you are coming from that counts.

    If I am seen as a money making commodity, a statistic or a funding
    source to be nurtured for my lifetime rather than a person who has
    common ideals and real commitment to the cause I choose to fund I pick
    that up immediately and I will delete, bin or whatever contact has been
    made with me.

    It also encourages me to believe that there are a lot of fundraisers who
    are more interested in paying their inflated salaries and in having a
    good track record of getting cash out of people than the cause they
    currently work for as they progress on their career ladder.

    A weekend attending a Landmark Education Communication Action to Power
    Course (see http://www.landmarkeducation.com) might teach people a few things
    about relatedness and enrolment that are far more important than
    getting them to fill in the form and getting their cash.

    Andrew Pring

    Andrew Pring
    E-mail: [email]Andrew@the-cib.demon.co.uk[/email]

    The CIB produces a monthly E-mail Funding Newsletter.
    To get trial copies and details of service go to
    http://www.cibfunding.org.uk/page20.htm
    or send Name/Organisation/Address/Phone Number/E-mail address to
    [email]Andrew@the-cib.demon.co.uk[/email]

    Look at The CIB web-site: http://www.cibfunding.org.uk for a range of funding
    information, training programmes and details of The CIB services.

    PLEASE NOTE

    The Charities Information Bureau has moved to:
    93 Lawefield Lane
    Wakefield
    West Yorkshire
    WF2 8SU

    Tel/Fax/Email/web are unchanged

    Tel: 01924 239063
    Fax: 01924 239431
    E-mail: [email]funding@the-cib.demon.co.uk[/email]
    Reg. Charity No. 1059077
    Co. Ltd by Guarantee No. 3268906

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 10:19 pm #6399

    Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2003 10:10:06 -0000
    From: Julian Smyth

    Andrew Pring raises an interesting point. And misses it.

    How exactly does one develop one’s “common ideals and real commitment to the
    cause”? Is it not through careful nurturing and communication by the cause
    in the first place? How does any cause impinge upon the consciousness of
    the individual to start with? Are we born knowing everything about the
    importance of every cause, or do we have to be educated? How does a cause
    fund such an educational process?

    More importantly, how does a cause identify those with a propensity to
    support the cause? Sit back and wait for the moral justification of the
    cause to prick the population’s collective conscience and watch the money
    roll in? I think not.

    The moral high ground is not won by sitting in an ivory tower and condemning
    fundraisers because they strive to be as professional as they can. Far more
    money is wasted by low-paid under-resourced fundraising departments which
    achieve relatively little than by those which are properly resourced and
    both ethically and professionally run.

    So, let us as a profession (and I stress “profession”, not “good work” or
    “vocation”) look to celebrate success and not sink into the politics of
    envy. Let us expect to be rewarded for what we do and not invent nouns from
    verbs (what the h*** is “relatedness”?) in order to sneer at others who are
    achieving more for their causes by learning best practice and implementing
    it. Finally, what planet are we living on wherein fundraisers’ salaries
    could ever be regarded as “inflated”? They are 30% lower than equivalent
    positions in industry and commerce and will remain so.

    As more and more charities rely more and more heavily on statutory, lottery
    and Trust funding, the more divorced they become from the fundamentals of
    what “charity” is about. Where is the moral high ground in not looking for,
    and achieving, support from the millions of individuals who, as individuals,
    make up the very society we are aiming to help and empower? How much
    fundraising does the CIB do, Andrew? Where does your £250,000 turnover come
    from? I presume that you are not actually going out and asking the general
    populace to support you? So where, exactly, are you coming from when you
    criticize those that do? (And, by the way, your 2002 accounts are overdue
    at the Charity Commission).

    Julian Smyth
    Principal Consultant, ASK Associates
    Tel/Fax: 01494 447115
    Mobile: 07798 826105
    Email: [email]julian@ask.org.uk[/email]
    Website: http://www.ask.org.uk

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 10:22 pm #6400

    Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 18:42:09 +0000
    From: Andrew Pring

    Hi Julian

    I feel I must respond again.

    Most of the work I have done in my time for good causes I have done for free. I have personally approached sponsors and raised money to get me to Washington DC for international conferences and to attend meetings at
    the World Bank about hunger and poverty issues because I inspired people and they wanted to contribute and be part of what I am up to. I represented them and reported back to them on what we had achieved together.

    I am treasurer of a peace organisation that promotes peace with underprivileged children in some tough schools in the Sheffield area and make funding applications to trusts on their behalf unpaid.

    I am also lucky enough to be employed part time in the voluntary sector here at the CIB and see this as a privilege and I am very careful to keep myself aware that I am living off funds which others have donated to allow me to do this work, albeit indirectly as a multitude of low
    cost subscriptions to the CIB funding newsletter that I produce for community groups and voluntary organisations. The newsletter, unsubsidised, pays my salary and covers other costs.

    I have also built a website for the CIB that has cost peanuts but would have cost tens of thousands if it had been put together badly by a web developer. It is there as a free service to community groups and voluntary organisations. I cannot justify a high salary just because of the money I save the CIB even though I am not rich and could make a mint if I applied my skills and entrepreneur ship in the private sector. I choose to do what I do out of passion not as a career path or consideration of salary comparison.

    I am also involved with Landmark Education and have paid for their courses because of the difference they has made in my life in terms of my self expression, the impact on my relationships and how to make a real difference in the world. I sometimes work with them for free because I want to contribute to all the people who become their customers. It is here that the word relatedness comes in because there
    is no other word that creates that distinction.

    There is a story of two masons working side by side carving stones. When
    asked what they are doing one says I am carving a stone. The other
    replies I am building a cathedral. When I talk about the cathedrals I am building in my life I enrol others into my vision. Finding out about the cathedrals that others are building is creating relatedness. I can then see where I am contributing to their cathedral and I may discover we are
    actually working with the same vision but at different sides of the same building. I can then celebrate every stone they carve as a part of what we are building together.

    Quite how that relatedness is built with a mass audience I do not know but I do know that mass communication works to encourage others to contribute to the sort of cathedrals visioned by those that created Comic Relief and Band Aid. Letting people know of what an NGO is up to
    and being proud of the contribution to a better world, is coming from a
    different space than we need to get x amount of cash before next
    September or there won’t be the money to pay our salaries. The first
    inspires me to contribute to building a cathedral with them. The second
    leaves me turning my back.

    I have no sense of envy of what others achieve – only praise and
    admiration. I can be resentful that money I have raised and efforts I
    have put in have just gone in salaries without real appreciation of me.
    I have seen the well paid jobs go to ‘professionals’ while the minions
    are expected to work their butts off for nowt and I have been one of
    them. Sometimes the volunteers are ‘grandmothers who have been sucking
    eggs’ for years at much higher levels than those who have the paid jobs.
    Treating a volunteer as a minion misses talents and an accountant can
    end up stuffing envelopes. I have also seen the adverts for masters
    graduates to work in central London as interns unpaid and laughed ho ho
    into my sleeve. Being a professional does not get my respect. Being
    professional does.

    Large NGOs pay the tax claimed back from street and doorstepped direct
    debit signers to the collectors. This leaves those making the donation
    believing the collectors do it for the love of the cause rather than to make a bit of cash. They even tell their customers that every penny they collect goes direct to the cause. It can be a nice little earner but is of dubious integrity for Amnesty or whoever. I have to question the integrity of the fundraisers in high places that dreamed up these schemes.

    I suggest best practice comes from relatedness and integrity and not from screwing the public for the most funds. I would guess that those
    who come from relatedness and integrity are the biggest fundraisers anyway because they inspire others into the vision of more vast and more beautiful cathedrals which everyone wants to contribute to.

    My original intention was to put people in touch with the vision that
    inspires them and for them to convey that. If the vision is enrolling
    then the cash will follow. That for me is the best practice.

    Turning donations into legacies seems to be a pretty low vision. If
    someone came to me and said thanks for your gift now give me a big
    legacy at least it would be straight and I would say no. Trying to find
    out how best to get me to do it seems to me to be sleazy.

    A gun might work.
    __________________________________

    The CIB has got funds from the likes of Lloyds TSB, The Community Fund,
    the Home Office ACU and local government to train and support funding
    advice services and to work with local community groups in their
    fundraising activities. Some income comes from charging those who can
    pay for our services.

    My personal vision is for everyone in the voluntary and community sector
    in England to have the knowledge and skills to be able to raise the
    funds they need to fulfil their dreams. I contribute to that by creating
    resources to help them and by letting them know what the latest funding
    opportunities are. The CIB website gets over a thousand hits a day. The
    newsletter reaches over 900 subscribers most of whom cascade the
    information to estimated hundreds of thousands of local groups.

    I am a stand for compassion, equity and peace in the world. That is
    where I am coming from.

    Andrew

    PS I will remind my boss about those accounts.

    funding@the-cib.demon.co.uk

    The CIB produces a monthly E-mail Funding Newsletter.
    To get trial copies and details of service go to
    http://www.cibfunding.org.uk/page20.htm
    or send Name/Organisation/Address/Phone Number/E-mail address to
    Andrew@the-cib.demon.co.uk

    Look at The CIB web-site: http://www.cibfunding.org.uk for a range of funding information, training programmes and details of The CIB services.

    PLEASE NOTE

    The Charities Information Bureau has moved to:
    93 Lawefield Lane
    Wakefield
    West Yorkshire
    WF2 8SU

    Tel/Fax/Email/web are unchanged

    Tel: 01924 239063
    Fax: 01924 239431
    E-mail: funding@the-cib.demon.co.uk
    Reg. Charity No. 1059077
    Co. Ltd by Guarantee No. 3268906

    Anonymous
    14 May 2004 at 10:25 pm #6401

    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 15:07:11 -0000
    From: Howard Lake, FundUK list manager

    “Julian Smyth” asked:

    >PS How come it takes a week or more for my postings to arrive on the
    >forum and yet the responses to it get posted within an hour or two?

    As list manager for FundUK I try to approve and forward messages to the list as quickly as possible. Usually that is within 24 hours, and often much faster. Sometimes though it can take quite a bit longer, as in the case of Julian’s previous message.

    The list is provided at no charge so sometimes paid work can mean that messages don’t get handled as quickly as usual. Sorry, Julian, that it affected you this time – I hope this message demonstrates that some messages can go through much faster.

    If you have any comments on how FundUK works please direct them to me off-list at hlake@fundraising.co.uk. I don’t like the list turning into a discussion of itself.

    ————————————————————————
    Howard Lake
    List manager of FundUK, for discussion of fundraising in the UK
    Fundraising UK Ltd
    +44 (0)20 8640 5233
    FundUK is kindly supported by Netscalibur http://www.netscalibur.co.uk
    FundUK details http://www.fundraising.co.uk/forum
    ————————————————————————

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