Christian charity develops instant Gift Aid feature

Christian giving charity Stewardship has added a new feature to its service, so that Gift Aid can instantly be added to donations.

Joe Lepper | 5th Oct 18

Stewardship, the charity that helps churches and Christian charities to process money raised for good causes, is to launch a new feature so that Gift Aid can be added instantly to donations.

The feature will be incorporated into its Donor Advised Fund and will see the tax relief added instantly to all donations up to £25,000.

The plans will also see Stewardship underwrite the value of reclaimed tax to account holders at the point they give, ensuring it can be distributed to good causes immediately.

“At Stewardship one of our goals is to make it easy for Christians to give to the causes they care about,” said Stewardship Chief Executive Officer Stewart McCulloch.

“Currently, our givers experience a delay distributing funds to good causes because of the different clearance periods – one for their payment and second for the claimed Gift Aid. This makes for a slightly complicated user experience, but our team have been working hard over the past year to find a way to make this simpler and so to improve the giving process.”

Feature possible due to HMRC online changes

McCulloch added: “This pioneering new feature has been made possible following HMRC launch of online Gift Aid claims, which has dramatically shortened the turnaround time from claim to payment. With average claim processing times now down to a matter of days, from seven to ten weeks, we can deliver an idea which has been an aspiration for over a decade for our team.”

More than £10m of Gift Aid was claimed from HM Revenue and Customs via Stewardship giving accounts last year.

The announcement of this new feature coincides with this week’s Gift Aid Awareness Day, the Charity Finance Group’s campaign to raise awareness of Gift Aid.

This follows a report from HMRC in 2016, which found that 41% of charity donors have either a poor or fairly poor understanding of Gift Aid and that charities are missing out on around £560m in unclaimed Gift Aid.