Saturday, 16 January 2016

Making The Money Go Further

Throughout last year, I steadily sorted through cupboards sifting out things we didn't use or need any more. I took lots of things to different charity shops for them to sell on and you may remember me mentioning that the lady who was working in the R.S.P.C.A. charity shop had asked me if I wanted to Gift Aid the particular donation which I took there.

It rather took me by surprise, I always tick the Gift Aid box when giving a monetary donation but I didn't realise you could do it when taking in unwanted items for them to sell. It's the only time a charity shop has ever asked if I want to Gift Aid my donation. Apparently, they can claim Gift Aid on the amount that the items sell for.


In December, I received a letter from the R.S.P.C.A. letting me know that my donated items raised £20.91 for the charity and that by claiming the extra Gift Aid, they'll raise a further 25%.


This letter about Gift Aid has to be sent as a requirement of the HMRC but I think it's great to find out how much the donation has raised.

I'm quite sad that I've never been asked if I'd like to Gift Aid my donations by any other charity shop, I've donated so many unwanted things to lots of different charity shops this year, they surely must be missing out on a lot of revenue by not claiming Gift Aid.

The sort out continues here, I've got another pile of things to take to a charity shop and I'm inclined to use the R.S.P.C.A. as I know they'll make the donation go further by claiming Gift Aid on the amount it raises. I wonder if anyone else has come across other charity shops which use this scheme.

54 comments:

  1. We've no such program here but it sounds like a wonderful idea. This way your donation doubles in value.
    Hope you are keeping well and just think we are half way through January now...
    Susan x

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    1. Gift Aid is such a good idea, the charity ends up with a bigger donation and it doesn't cost the person donating any more. I can't believe we're half way through January already, I think this year is going to whizz by just the same as last year.

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  2. I'm sure we've been asked about claiming Gift Aid on donated goods in a PDSA charity shop, and I think the BHF too. Maybe ring up a few different ones and find out if they do it, or check their websites? Perhaps they all use the scheme but they just don't think to mention it to people?

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    1. Perhaps that's the case. Ringing round is a good idea, I do like to use more than one shop so that a few different charities can benefit from my donations.

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  3. Yes, I gave a dining suite to The British Heart Foundation. They asked me to gift aid and I was very happy to do so.

    I think that the problem with a lot of charity donations is that the resale value isn't high enough to do the admin of gift aid. As you say, they have to write and tell you the resale and quit apart from the cost of sending the letter there would be a lot of work involved in tracking the items from donor to customer.

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    1. I agree, there must be a lot of admin involved and smaller donations are probably not worth the work involved. I'm glad to hear that other charities definitely do ask people to Gift Aid larger donations though.

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  4. St Helena Hospice always ask if its more than I item. We took my fathers bits there and received a letter. Worth a tick and address details although I would prefer email so the postage doesn't come out of the funds.

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    1. That's good to hear. I like to think that my donations bring in the maximum profit for the charity that they can. I agree about email but I think the HMRC insist on a letter being sent, madness in this computerised day and age.

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  5. I'm surprised you haven't been asked before, I think all charity shops use it. I donate to the PDSA and the heart foundation and I always get a letter like you did, I think it's lovely to know how much your donations bring in it makes it worthwhile. I like the heart foundation because they collect unwanted furniture too, I donated a single bed and was pleased to see it had fetched £80 with the gift aid. :)

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    1. I've had so many trips to so many different charity shops last year and this was the only occasion I was asked to Gift Aid the donation. I think it's really nice to know how much has been raised from the donations too. I shall remember the British Heart Foundation if I have any unwanted furniture in the future.

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  6. As I read this I am actually in the process of doing exactly the same as you. I have a friend who is manager at Oxfam so when I know she is coming for a coffee I have a couple of bags ready for her to take to the shop. She told me about gift aid which I have completed. Right back to the sorting out...kitchen cupboards today - this time next week we'll be looking at carpets for the porch which will be finished next week - hubby hates carpet shops lol!

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    1. I think it's great to know that things we no longer use or need can be used by other people, making some much needed funds for charities too. We put laminate flooring in the porch, it's so easy to just mop up when there's muddy footprints brought inside.

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    2. I wanted laminate floor but hubby "Likes a bit of carpet" (Wallace voice - yes that's him lol) We have a grey carpet in the hall which needs replacing so we're going to get a dark grey one throughout. We tend to get the cheaper carpet - with 2 dogs etc. etc.

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    3. I have to agree with your hubby actually, I like a bit of carpet myself. The porch is the only place we have laminate flooring, purely for ease of cleaning as it's where shoes are taken off. We have tiles in the kitchen for the same reason and tiles in the bathroom but the rest of the house is carpeted throughout.

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  7. She Ryder shops do the same, we asked them to stop sending the letter to save them extra cost of postage.

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    1. It's a shame that the letter has to be sent because of HMRC regulations, as you say, it ends up costing them postage out of what they make. An email would be more cost effective.

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  8. All of our local charity shops ask. It could be the volunteers in the shop at the time have not been trained to ask. Its certainly a great way to get extra funds. We have a sort out before Christmas to make room for the new presents. A throwback from when the girls were small to get rid of some of their toys.

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    1. I'd never been asked before and I've never been asked by any of the other charity shops since, perhaps it is down to training. I've still got lots of things to go through here so there'll be plenty more bags to drop off yet.

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  9. We are signed up for Gift Aid in one of our local ones which we take a lot too and of course we signed up with Sue Ryder when Tony started volunteering there as they get the bulk of our donations. They send us an email every so often. I think Tony said the last one mentioned they had sold £180 worth of our items- good for them!
    Lisa x

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    1. Wow, that's a brilliant amount. I think it spurs you on more when you can see the amount they've raised on the donations. I shall have to see if they can send me an email rather than a letter, I'd rather they didn't waste their money.

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  10. I didn't know that, and have never been asked either. Flighty xx

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    1. I thought that Gift Aid could only be claimed on monetary donations so I was really surprised when the lady in the R.S.P.C.A. shop asked me. I think it's a great idea though, I'd rather they got everything they could from my donation.

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  11. We have an "account" at the Sue Ryder shop. This makes it a lot easier to deal with Gift Aid. As you say though, the volunteers in this type of shop could do a lot more for their charities if only they were trained or at least advised about this arrangement.

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    1. They made an account for us as the R.S.P.C.A. shop, as you say, it makes it easier when you drop off further donations. I'm sure many shops must be missing out on lots of revenue by not asking every customer.

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  12. All the better if more money can be made for charities by using Gift Aid. Unfortunately as I'm not a tax payer my charity donations cannot claim any Gift Aid. At least I think that's the case, I'm happy to stand corrected if that's not right. Jolly well done, Jo, it's good to think that charities can benefit as much as possible isn't it? xx

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    1. Yes, I believe that's the case. I always donate in Mick's name as I'm in the same position. I like my money to work hard for me when I spend it and it's the same when I make charitable donations, if they can claim a bit extra through Gift Aid, all the better.

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  13. The charity shops I donate to generally ask about gift aid. I guess as most of these shops are wonderfully staffed by volunteers not all volunteers may think to ask...

    I've still some more 'New Year' sorting and donating to do.

    Have a good weekend

    All the best Jan

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    1. I'm really surprised by how many people are regularly asked in charity shops about Gift Aid. I've been taking donations in on a very regular basis throughout last year to a number of different shops yet I've only been asked about it on this one occasion. I've still got a way to go too, I meant to take some bags filled with donations out with me today to drop in to a charity shop but I forgot, I'll have to take them tomorrow now.

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  14. We have gift aided donations to our local British Heart Foundation shop for several years and it encourages us to find more as we continue to clutter.

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    1. I must admit that I thought it was great finding out how much my donation had brought in for the charity. I shall definitely find out which other charity shops in the area allow you to register for Gift Aid as I've plenty more to declutter.

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  15. I am not a tax payer but I have given my husband's details out before! We usually donate to Oxfam and they definitely do it.

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    1. It's the same here, I always donate in Mick's name purely for that reason. I can't believe that most of the shops run this scheme yet I've only ever been asked once.

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  16. That sounds like a wonderful program. We don't have anything like that here - we simply drop off our items at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army shop & that's it. I've been giving our house a good once over for the last couple of months, especially the kids stuff, and have donated two carloads so far. It feels wonderful to declutter while at the same time helping others.

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    1. That's all I've ever done until I was asked about Gift Aid this once. It's a great scheme allowing the charity to make even more money on your donation. I'm gradually working my way throughout the house, I'm on a mission to get rid of anything and everything that we no longer use or need, the clutter is driving me mad.

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  17. That's great. I have a lot of charity shops in my local town but none have ever asked about gift aid (we don't have an RSPB shop though!)

    Thanks for your comment earlier. I love to see snow on the landscape! The view from the front door was zoomed in on the camera, it's part of the rocks you can see in the panoramas in the post.

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    1. This is the only time I've been asked in a charity shop about Gift Aid. I don't mind seeing snow on the landscape but I'm not overfond of having to go out in it. We had a few snow flurries this week but it didn't settle, thank goodness.

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    1. We don't have a Shelter charity shop nearby but I've taken donations in to our local Oxfam shop and they've never asked me to Gift Aid the donation. I think it must depend on which shop you use.

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  19. I would assume that all charities would have Gift Aid, would it not be an idea if all the shops put up a notice at the check out point so the customer cant miss seeing it?

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    1. I think all charities do make use of Gift Aid but only some of their shops seem to use it for donations of items rather than monetary donations. Perhaps some of the shops only make use of it when larger items are being donated as it must take a lot of admin time tracking each item to who's donated it, keeping track of it when it sells and updating the amount it's sold for.

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  20. I recently took a big bag of clothes to the RSPCA and this wasn't mentioned - such a shame.

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    1. It's rather hit and miss as to whether they ask you to Gift Aid your donation or not. They could be earning a lot more money on what they already make.

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  21. Oh, we need our money to go as far as it could. Great insight.

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    1. We certainly do, especially where charities are concerned, they need to raise as much money as they can.

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  22. Never heard of that sort of thing over here, but it's interesting to know about. I donate a lot to our charity shops and often wonder where some of the money goes. Take care.

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    1. I like the idea of knowing how much my donation has made and especially that it's earnt extra by choosing to Gift Aid the donation.

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  23. Mike takes a lot of out donations to a local cancer charity shop & I know he gets a letter from time to time. Perhaps some aren't aware of it xx

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    1. You'd think they would be aware of it. I do wonder why they're not asking everyone to Gift Aid their donations though.

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  24. I'm pretty sure the British Red Cross charity shops do Gift Aid as I'm sure I've heard it mentioned when I've been in one.

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    1. I haven't seen any British Red Cross charity shops but I'm glad to hear that they promote Gift Aid, charities can raise so much more money by using it.

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  25. I've never been asked to gift aid Jo but I usually call in to charity shops with small donations. I don't drive so it has to be something that I can manage on the bus eg a few books at a time. However it sounds a great idea when and where appropriate.

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    1. Perhaps it's not cost effective with small donations because of the admin involved, I don't know. It would be interesting to know though.

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  26. Gosh, I must check if we gift aid donations at our charity shops....if we don't, you may well have earned us a fortune!!! xxx

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    1. I'm sure all charities will know about Gift Aid on donations, it's just a matter of whether all the extra admit it causes makes it worth their while I should think. I like the idea that my donations are bringing in a little extra for the charity though.

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