What do we want?
CAF and NCVO both have a long history of supporting charities. We know that we have to take responsibility to lead the sector through this difficult period.
At this challenging time, we want every part of our nation – the Government, business and the public – to come together to Back Britain’s Charities and ensure they can continue to survive in these difficult times. We know money is tight for everyone involved, but there are practical things we can all do to help charities carry on their vital work:
1. Individuals should support charities by giving as regularly as they can, regardless of how much time or money they are able to give.
- We know that a lot of people are finding it tough at the moment, with rising living costs and falling incomes. We are not asking people to give more than they can afford. However, people can help Back Britain’s Charities by changing the way they give to charity – switching wherever possible to regular and tax-effective giving.
- Regular donations provide charities with much needed security and the ability to plan. Charities themselves say that regular gifts are the ‘most important’ form of income.
- When people back their favourite charities by giving regularly – for example through monthly direct debits or straight from their salary – it is easy to use Gift Aid or Payroll Giving to make these donations go even further.
2. The Government should modernise and promote Gift Aid and Payroll Giving, so every pound given to charity goes even further.
- The tax relief system plays a very important role in encouraging charitable giving and maximising the value of donations to charities in Britain. Gift Aid on its own is worth over a billion pounds to charities, but over £750 million of Gift Aid goes unclaimed each year. We also know that, while Payroll Giving is a very effective way of giving (meaning that a donation of £10 to charity can cost the person giving as little as £5), it is currently only used by 3% of employees.
- We believe that now is the time to bring Gift Aid up to date and to make sure that people who back Britain’s charities are able to make their donations go even further by using this important scheme.
- We want the Government to simplify the Payroll Giving system, so that individuals, charities and businesses can make the most of this way of giving.
- We would also like to ensure that all charities, and particularly smaller organisations who currently struggle with the existing Gift Aid system, can benefit from the new Gift Aid Small Donations scheme when it is introduced.
3. Government should ensure that public bodies do not cut funding for charities disproportionately when making spending reductions.
- We understand that public bodies everywhere have to make savings in order to meet the challenges of the current funding environment. We also know that there are increasing demands upon the services that they provide.
- The best public bodies are working with Britain’s charities to find solutions to these difficult issues. Their experience often shows that working with charities and the communities they represent can produce innovative solutions and long-term savings that will ultimately help Britain deal with its deficit.
- But some public bodies are instead cutting the resources available for charities, far more than the cuts they are making to their own budgets. In some cases they are bringing services in-house instead of working with charities and communities to find long-term solutions to the challenges we all face.
- The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued statutory guidance to Local Authorities in England advising them not cut charities disproportionately. Local Authorities should follow this guidance.
4. Businesses should maintain or increase their support for charities – whether this is financial or practical help for good causes.
- Businesses can play a huge part in backing Britain’s charities and there are some fantastic examples of how effective and creative partnerships are helping to achieve real change in people’s lives and communities. However, the most recent research by the Directory of Social Change (DSC) and Cass Business School reveals that corporate giving has fallen.
- We want to see businesses stepping up their support for charities – whether this is through direct donations or through innovative approaches to community investment. This might include pro-bono schemes, skilled employee volunteering, and sharing space and resources.
5. Charities should work together with the Government to modernise and improve fundraising and to enhance their impact, so that every pound given goes further towards helping beneficiaries.
- It’s clearly the responsibility of all charities to ensure that the donations people give are used to achieve the greatest impact possible. Charities should always use resources as effectively and efficiently as possible.
- We would like to see government work with charities to modernise and improve fundraising, ensuring that charities of all sizes have access to training and resources so that fundraising in difficult times is effective and builds public trust and confidence in Britain’s charities.
- We want charities to sign up to the Inspiring Impact coalition, which aims to enable and empower charities to achieve a greater impact with their resources.