Specialist Outlook

Kingston Smith Gift Aid Recovery Service (GARS)

29 May 2015

For any charity that receives donations, claiming Gift Aid can provide a significant addition to its income – adding 25p to every £1 received. What is surprising though is that a recent report by the National Audit Office estimates that up to £575 million was unclaimed in 2012.

We all know that there can be a whole range of reasons why Gift Aid is not claimed but very often it turns out that it is simply because the data collected at the time the donation was made was just incomplete.

With over 750 charity clients, and a vested interest in the sector, we want to help charities maximise their income and this lead to the introduction of our new Gift Aid Recovery Service, also known as GARS. This service puts charities in the best position to recover unclaimed Gift Aid, as well as identify and make contact with non-Gift Aid donors. We have collaborated with an ethical call centre, Katann Limited, to create a simple, straight forward and low risk service to enable charities to:

• update and cleanse its donor database
• thank donors for their support and tell them about some of the charity’s achievements
• gather the information to complete the Gift Aid claim, and,
• collect the outstanding Gift Aid

The cost structure is clear and fixed at the outset and is more than covered by the Gift Aid claim – which removes any financial risk for the charity.

The service works very simply; Katann Limited will call your donor list to cleanse and update your database (including tele-appending). The call will include a courtesy thank you to donors who will also be briefly informed about the difference their donation made. The Katann call team will also then ask the donor if they can collect additional information to allow the charity to claim Gift Aid on their donation. The information is straight forward and not confidential. Kingston Smith then processes the Gift Aid claim on behalf of the charity directly with HMRC and the full claim is paid straight to the charity.

The basic cost structure is as follows: Katann Limited will charge £3 (+VAT) per donor cleansed and Kingston Smith will charge 50p (+VAT) per donor Gift Aid declaration record submitted. For a donation of £25, the Gift Aid received would amount £6.25 with a total cost of £3.50 (+VAT) to carry out the associated work. This means that the organisation receives additional net income of £2.75 (£2.05 if unable to reclaim VAT on charges) for cleansing and updating its donor database.

Katann will only charge for records that are fully Gift Aid eligible, meaning that the service becomes completely self-funded. This model enables charities to get all donors into a calling schedule distinguishing between those where gift aid is or is not applicable. For a charity, the whole system is effectively outsourced to specialists, removing the pressure from fundraising and finance teams.

Katann Limited is a social enterprise and already works with a large number of charities to help them cleanse and maintain their databases. Their team is trained to the highest standard to ensure that they provide a quality service. Significantly, Katann’s callers are all disabled and the company provides any necessary modifications to their equipment so that they are able to engage in paid and productive work – this is the premise on which Katann Limited was created. The callers’ work supports charities, and the individuals themselves gain skills that they can take with them in the future.

We believe this is a truly virtuous circle which:

1. Provides training and employment for individuals who may otherwise struggle to find work
2. Improves the quality of a charities donor database, both data and Gift Aid
3. Provides a net cash contribution to the charity

If you would like to find out more information about this service, details can be found on our webpage www.kingstonsmith.co.uk/GARS. Alternatively, please contact lead partner Silvia Vitiello on 020 7566 4000 or svitiello@ks.co.uk.

There will also be a number of road show events to inform charities of this service. Dates, times and locations can also be found on our website.

Author and contact:

Silvia Vitiello
Kingston Smith
020 7566 4000

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Silvia Vitiello

Silvia is based in the Kingston Smith St Albans office and has over 30 years experience in practice with a varied portfolio of clients including both commercial and not for profit clients. She is a senior member of Kingston Smith’s Charities and not for profit team and her clients include Hertfordshire Action on Disabilities, Community Action Dacorum, The Maytree Respite Centre and Central London Samaritans.

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