#GivingTuesday – Some tips for charities to boost giving

Today marks the first #GivingTuesday to be hosted in the UK, led by Charities Aid Foundation and supported by over 700 charities.

#GivingTuesday is a campaign to encourage people, after splurging out on retail deals on ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’, to give time or money to good causes. By using easily accessible online giving platforms and social media, organisers hope to reach out to new donors and increase awareness. Holly Mitchell, Campaign Manager for CAF, wrote a blog post on what some charities are doing to make the most of the #GivingTuesday platform last month.

Organisers hope that #GivingTuesday will become an annual fixture, so if you haven’t had the time to take part this year, don’t worry!

However, if you have been caught up in the #GivingTuesday buzz and want to know how your charity can increase the number and value of donations it receives, here are a few quick tips.

1. Register for Gift Aid

Gift Aid enables your organisation to claim donor’s tax back from the government boosting the value of most donations by 25%. A £10 donation is worth £12.50 with Gift Aid added and can make a big difference in meeting fundraising targets.

Gift Aid doesn’t cost your organisation anything to claim and over £1bn is paid out in tax repayments by government every year. To increase take up, HM Treasury has developed this infographic (click on the image below) to help organisations understand the process and how to claim. So don’t miss out!

Gift Aid Infographic

2. Make sure that you can receive donations online

According to Localgiving.com, which supports small charities to fundraise, 59% of small charities (with income less than £1m) don’t have the ability to accept donations online, this is despite the fact that the average online donation is worth twice as much as the average offline donation.

However, the world of online giving platforms can be quite confusing to navigate. Fortunately, Charity Finance Group and Institute of Fundraising have developed a guide, Making the most of digital donations; A practical guide to selecting and using online giving platforms (PDF, 405kb), which should help you make the right choice.

3. If you are taking small cash donations, use the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

If your charity has regularly used Gift Aid in the past and fundraise y through bucket collections or taking small cash donations under £20, make sure that you make the most of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. Under this scheme, organisations can claim up to £5000 of ‘top-up’ payments from government on donations each year (depending on the amount of Gift Aid you raise).

Once you have registered for Gift Aid through Charities Online, you can also claim for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. If you want more information, read HMRC’s helpsheet (PDF, 223KB).

4. Keep communicating with your supporters

The latest research on donor behaviour, published last month, confirms that donors are more likely to give if they can see the benefits of their donation. So when you receive donations, try to keep in touch with your donors about how the money was spent and what impact it had – don’t just wait till the next time you need to ask.

The more that donors know about your charity and the impact you have, the more open they will be to donating and the better relationships you’ll have with your supporters.

5. Fundraising is for life, not just for Tuesdays…

#GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to get engaged with fundraising if your haven’t before, but often fundraising takes time to yield results and the more that you put into it, the more you will get out. So think about other opportunities for fundraising that you might have over the next year, the more regular your fundraising, the more likely you are to succeed.

What are your top tips?

These are just a few of my thoughts, but do you have any tips which can help organisations to make the most of fundraising? Let us know in the comments below.

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Andrew was NCVO’s senior policy officer. He covered issues around funding, social investment, tax and the impact of the economy on the voluntary sector. Andrew has left NCVO, but his posts are kept here for reference purposes.

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