Pennies from Heaven: MRDF celebrates Gift Aid contributions

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

In 2000, the UK government launched the Gift Aid scheme thatenables all charities to claim back the tax paid on donations. Forevery £1 'gift aided' by a taxpayer, the charity receives an extra28p at no cost to the donor. However, the Charities Aid Foundationestimates that only a third of all charitable donations are 'giftaided'.

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

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

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

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

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