Gift Aid is a game-changing evolution of how charities can gain extra donations on a regular basis. It’s a valuable source of income for many charities in the UK and significantly increases the value of donations. Gift Aid is a way for taxpayers to support their chosen charities and make their donations go further. Find out what Gift Aid is with this guide from Seashell.

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Gift Aid explained

So, what is Gift Aid? Gift Aid is a scheme that’s available to charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs). It allows them to claim extra money from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Gift Aid allows the charity to claim an extra 25 pence for every £1 donated, so long as the donor pays the basic rate of tax. Gift Aid allows the value of donations to increase by 25%, allowing an individual to give more to the causes they care about.

Gift Aid is an important scheme for charities as it allows millions of extra pounds to go into the sector. Every time an eligible taxpayer donates and then forgets to tick the Gift Aid box, a charity misses out on additional fundraising.

How can a person donate via Gift Aid?

Donating via Gift Aid is a simple and effective way to maximise the impact of charitable contributions. To make a donation via Gift Aid, a person must follow these steps:

  • Be a UK taxpayer – You must be a UK taxpayer and have paid income tax or capital gains tax that’s at least equal to the amount the charity will reclaim on your donation.
  • Choose a qualified charity – Ensure the charity you’re donating to is eligible to claim Gift Aid. Most charities in the UK qualify for Gift Aid, but it’s best to check beforehand.
  • Make a Gift Aid declaration – When making a donation, you need to make a Gift Aid declaration. This is usually a statement that confirms you’re a taxpayer in the UK and you want the charity to claim Gift Aid on your donation. You can do this with an online form or with a paper form that you submit alongside your donation. You can also do this over the phone with some charities.
  • Keep records – As Gift Aid is linked to your taxes, it’s important to keep records of your donations. Charities may ask you to confirm your tax status and eligibility at a later date, so retain any information or receipts.
  • Multi-year declarations – Some charities allow you to make a multi-year declaration which covers all donations you make to that charity over a set period – usually up to four years.
  • Update your declaration – If your tax status changes or you no longer meet the eligibility criteria, remember to update your Gift Aid declaration.

How can a business set up Gift Aid?

While Gift Aid is designed primarily for individuals to increase the value of their donations, and not businesses, they can support charities through various corporate schemes. Here are some ways a company can engage in a charity fundraiser or make donations to support the cause.

Corporate fundraising

Businesses can make direct financial contributions to registered charities. These donations can be tax-deductible as business expenses.

Payroll giving

Many businesses offer a payroll giving scheme where employees can choose to make regular donations to a charity directly from their salary. This is a tax-efficient way for both the employee and the business to support charities they believe in.

Matching gift programs

Some companies have schemes where they match their employees’ charitable donations up to a certain limit. This encourages employees to donate and amplifies their contributions.


Businesses can sponsor charity event fundraisers, or projects. Sponsorships are a smart way of promoting the company’s brand while supporting a charitable cause.

In-kind donations

Instead of providing cash donations, businesses can donate products, services, or expertise to help charities with their day-to-day operations and projects.

Donate to Seashell

If you run a business and you’re considering donating to a charity, consider Seashell. By making a donation to Seashell, you are helping to change the lives of the children and young people we care for.

As a well-established learning disability and autism charity, Seashell offers a holistic approach to supporting people with learning disabilities. If you’re interested and wish to volunteer with disabled children or donate to an autism charity, check out our events calendar.

For anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us.