The recent suspension of an online giving website, together with publication of the government’s consultation document on gift aid have between them put charitable giving in the spotlight, explains Helen Hargreaves.
Political support for charitable giving
Successive governments have sought to support and encourage giving and philanthropy. The Labour government of 1997-2010 addressed this first through the modernisation and expansion of gift aid, then its support for the Giving Campaign, before subsequently developing a range of initiatives summarised in ‘A Generous Society’. Since taking office, the coalition government has been no less active. It produced a Giving Green paper in December 2010, followed by a whitepaper in May 2011. It has also introduced the Community First matching fund, to match donations made by individuals and companies for the benefit of their local communities, and initiatives making it easier to give, for example, via cash machines. The tax framework for giving has been important. The gift aid scheme in particular has been successful, showing significant take-up over time. The Budget in March 2011 was also seen to be charity-friendly. It included measures to modernise gift aid, the creation of a new small donations scheme, and measures to encourage legacy giving.
David Cameron, believes...
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- What is payroll giving?
- What is gift aid?
- Overcoming the myths
- Promoting the tax benefits