06 October 2005

Pennies from Heaven: MRDF celebrates Gift Aid contributions

Thanks to a UK government initiative, the Methodist Relief and Development Fund received an extra £110,000 in the year to 31 August.

In 2000, the UK government launched the Gift Aid scheme that enables all charities to claim back the tax paid on donations. For every £1 'gift aided' by a taxpayer, the charity receives an extra 28p at no cost to the donor. However, the Charities Aid Foundation estimates that only a third of all charitable donations are 'gift aided'.

Sarah Hagger, MRDF Supporter Relations Team, said, 'This extra £110,000 comes as a result of hundreds of people doing something as simple as filling in an MRDF gift aid envelope or a declaration form. The total raised through gift aid this year is the highest that we've ever achieved. Just imagine what we could raise if everyone who was eligible to claim gift aid did so.'

For example, the £110,000 raised through Gift Aid is enough to:
train 400 farmers in sustainable agricultural techniques
AND build new wells for 15 villages
AND provide subsidised meals at five street children shelters for a whole year
AND provide earthquake-proof housing for 10 families in tsunami-affected areas
AND support 40 women's income generating groups that help rural families earn enough to send their children to school.

Isabelle Carboni, MRDF Programme Officer for Asia and West Africa said 'The money that MRDF has been able to claim through Gift Aid has had a direct impact on the lives of thousands of people in the world's poorest communities. £110,000 is equivalent to a dozen typical MRDF grants made to partner organisations.'

As many people still feel confused by Gift Aid, MRDF has now produced a fact sheet for treasurers to help to demystify the system and encourage people to make the most of Gift Aid.

Gift Aid Made Easy fact sheet and Gift Aid Declaration Forms are available from: MRDF, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR or by calling 020 7467 5132. They are also available to download from www.mrdf.org.uk/give.htm

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