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Voluntary Support North Surrey

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Registered charity No. 1141587

A company limited by guarantee No. 752663

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Gift Aid - What is it?


Gift Aid allows UK charities to claim back the basic rate tax already paid on donations by the donor.

This means they can claim back from the government on your behalf 25p for every £1 donated, boosting the value of the donation by a quarter.

How does Gift Aid work?

When a UK taxpayer gives a gift of money to a charity, tax has already been paid on that money. Because voluntary organisations are exempt from tax, you can claim this money back from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

How is Gift Aid calculated?

Under HMRC’s Gift Aid scheme, charities can reclaim an amount equal to basic rate tax (20%) on the amount of the donation, plus basic rate tax already paid by that taxpayer on that donation. For a £100 donation, the fraction applied to calculate Gift Aid is 100 x 20/80, which is 25% of £100 which equals £25. This means that the charity receives £125 for a £100 donation.


Why are some donations not eligible for Gift Aid?

Donations from non-UK taxpayers are not eligible for Gift Aid and HMRC regulations also mean that Gift Aid can’t be reclaimed on a donation if:

the donation was on behalf of someone else or a group of people

the donation was on behalf of a company

the donation was to a family member or friend doing an event where the charity is contributing to their costs

the donation was made in return for goods, rights or services.

Someone made a mistake when making their donation and Gift Aid hasn’t been claimed – what can I do?

Once a donation has been made it isn’t possible to adjust the Gift Aid on it, it must be refunded and the donation made again.

How do you get recognition from HMRC for your charity?

You must register your charity’s details with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to get tax back on things like Gift Aid donations, using the Government Gateway

To register have the following charity information at hand:

bank account details and financial accounts

trustees details including dates of birth and National Insurance numbers

registered charity number

charitable purposes of your organisation

your charity’s constitution (governing document)


Originally, declarations had to be made in writing but they can now be made orally, although the charity must confirm the declaration in writing and keep a copy of the confirmation.


Social Impact Bonds and How They Work


In most public service payment-by-results contracts, a charity must use its own money to roll out the programme, hoping that it will achieve good enough results payments to cover the costs. A Social Impact Bond (SIB) takes away the financial risk from both the government, which commissions the programme, and the charity delivering the service, because social investors (the likes of Big Society Capital) step in to cover the costs up-front.


SIBs were designed to help reform public service delivery, improving the social outcomes of publicly funded services by making funding conditional on achieving results. Investors pay for the project at the start, and then receive payments based on the results achieved by the project when the measured outcomes are achieved.


To secure a SIB for your project you must first of all outline your project running costs and targets. The next step is to team up with a specialist go-between such as Social Finance and put together a bid to attract investors. The bid is then submitted to the commissioner (the government in the case of The Life Chances Fund) who decides whether to award the contract. Usually the projects are assessed at regular intervals (monthly) and payments on results made accordingly.


If you are considering a SIB you must have very good performance management processes in place and be absolutely sure you can deliver the outcomes otherwise a SIB is probably not a suitable funding method for your organisation.


Your outcomes should:


be measured easily and accurately

be linked directly to an intervention

save money, either by directly reducing costs or by avoiding future cost

some of the money saved is cashable or highly socially beneficial


Benefits of the SIB are that they encourage new ideas for projects that tackle difficult problems and provide funding for prevention and early intervention services that would have difficulty securing funding. The SIB also ensures that evaluation of project outcomes is regular and accurately highlights what is working in the project and what is not. The expectation for the future is that government will be funding cost effective programs that ‘work’ and attract new forms of capital to the social, educational and healthcare sectors.


To find out more read the government introduction to SIBs by clicking here.



SPOC = Single Point of Contact


A decline in grant funding and the trend towards bigger and bigger contracts are making things tougher than ever for small charities. Public sector grants have been replaced in most instances with contracts, often with complex commissioning processes making it very challenging for smaller charities to bid for and operate contracts. This means that funding is falling faster for small charities than for bigger ones which is unfortunate because smaller, more personalised services provided by smaller organisations are more cost effective, provide better outcomes and are more popular with the service users.



The vast majority of voluntary organisations are small. According to the Charity Commission there were 166,311 registered charities in the UK in September 2016 and less than 7%, just 11,079, had income of over £500K. Research shows that funding from local and central government for small and medium sized charities fell by 44 per cent between 2008/09 and 2012/13.


There is now a growing interest in making sure that public service delivery involves smaller organisations and not just the bigger ones and that has given rise to the SPOC as a viable and valuable option to address the problem. The Single Point of Contact Model is a single organisation (or possibly partnership of organisations) through which a commissioner can work with a broad range of Voluntary organisations through a single grant or contract. The SPOC enables the commissioner to design services reflecting the needs of local people and communities. The SPOC works with a partnership of local organisations to deliver the work through contracted arrangements. The SPOC takes on the contract management, monitoring and administration, meaning commissioners only need manage one contract against commissioning outcomes. The SPOC is paid to performance manage the delivery organisations, allowing commissioners to focus on outcomes.


Its success comes from removing much of the competition and rivalry created by most procurement processes, and replacing it with cooperation. Charities are encouraged to work together to share intelligence and ideas. Instead of a single charity pretending to have all the answers to everyone’s problems, the SPOC model encourages charities to provide different elements of the support an individual may need, according to their own expertise. They can do this safe in the knowledge that they are not jeopardising their prospects of getting future funding by giving away valuable intelligence.


Everywhere this model is in operation, it is a success. In South Yorkshire, for example, Voluntary Action Rotherham act as a SPOC, allowing around 20 smaller charities to provide services local people need. It is also the model that the Big Lottery Fund is using for its multi-million pound Fulfilling Lives programmes.


Read the full report here



If you need further or more specific funding advice please complete our fundraising contact form and let  us help you!

Funding Success

We are delighted by the news that 2 of our organisations have been successful in their applications to the London Marathon Charitable Trust. West End Bowls Club in Surrey Heath have been granted £100,000 to extend their existing club house and Camberley Rugby club will receive £30,000 towards the building of a ladies changing facility.

The Trust welcomes applications for funding for Capital expenses of projects that increase the number of physically inactive people participating regularly in sport and physical activity. Applications are accepted from projects located in all areas where London Marathon Events Limited organises mass participation events. Since the first Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling in 2013 more than £2.5million has now been awarded by The Trust to 72 projects across Surrey.

They aim to fund projects that will be open to the local community for a significant proportion of each year and that have realistic plans for their long term sustainability without additional funding after the capital project is complete Sarah Ridley, Chief Grants Officer of The London Marathon Charitable Trust said: “We’re delighted to provide support to these great projects across Surrey. All of them will support our aim to get more people physically active and playing sport.”

The extension to West End Bowls Club will allow year round short mat bowls and low impact exercise classes aimed at getting older people more physically active. This will be especially valuable to older members in the winter months when outdoor activities are limited. Trevor Lofty, President of the West End Bowls Club, said: “We are extremely delighted to receive this substantial grant from The London Marathon Charitable Trust. Their contribution to the cost of extending our building will allow us to make much more use of our facilities, taking it from summer only use to year round use. It will also allow us to initiate indoor short mat bowls throughout the year. Our objective is to provide a facility that encourages people, of all ages, who are currently inactive to be active, improving their health and reducing social isolation.”

Camberley RFC would like to encourage more women players by constructing a new self-contained female changing room to improve the facilities for women and girls at the club. Their former president Roger Chamberlain said: "Camberley Rugby Club, and particularly our Girls and Youth sections, are most grateful and excited with the grant offer received from The London Marathon Charitable Trust. This will enable the Club to construct a new self-contained changing room for Girls and Ladies playing the game, ably supported by our two international England players, Fran and Alex Mathews, who have been on the England Women RFU books since it was formed nearly three years ago. The lack of these facilities has previously held back our development of this sector of rugby in Camberley and meant any aspiring female players have had to leave our club and move to others. With a number of schools to draw on throughout Surrey Heath and the surrounding area, this project will really help the youth players expand from the present numbers of almost 600 players."

If you are inspired by the success of these local clubs and have a sports facility idea that needs funding, the next deadline for The Trust’s 2 grants schemes is 17th October 2017, with new deadlines for 2018 to be announced in the near future.

Small Capital £5000 - £20,000

Major Capital grants £20,001 - £150,000

For application forms, guidance and frequently asked questions have a look at their website and we are always happy to help you with questions and proof reading.



6 Questions to ask before running a campaign

At some point your charity or voluntary organisation will need to run a campaign. You may need to recruit more volunteers, raise funds, encourage regular givers, or have an awareness month.

Running a campaign takes lots of effort. So here are 6 questions to ask to help you decide whether it’s worth it.


1. Why are you doing it?

Did management just decide it was a good idea on a whim? Did you just suddenly decide it was about time you ran a campaign? Or does it genuinely align with a key organisation objective (and therefore a charitable aim)? If it’s a campaign to increase your visibility that’s rarely a charitable objective in itself, so be clear on what your ultimate goal of the campaign is.  

2. Is there a specific result that you want from the campaign?

Is there one number that you want to see increase as a result of this campaign? Volunteer numbers, funding, email list, regular givers.

Try to ensure you’ve got just one aim. It’s too easy to say your aim is fundraising with a bit of comms thrown in. All that does is create a wooly campaign with no focus and too many people vying for control.

3. Are the key people on board?

While you don’t want to suffer from a lack of focus, you’ll still need help from others where possible.

Marketing people can be hugely helpful in the planning and delivery stages. If they aren’t directly involved, ask for their advice. They probably have some excellent pearls of wisdom to share.

What’s more, being asked for advice feels good. So simply asking can do wonders for working relationships.

4. Did someone mention the Ice Bucket Challenge in the planning stage?

If they did, don’t do the campaign. People think that viral campaigns like that are the benchmark for all online charity campaigns. In fact, they’re more like winning the lottery – rare, and no way to build a fundraising strategy.

Incredibly successful viral campaigns don’t come from charities anyway; they come from supporters. All you can do is amplify what your biggest fans are doing.

5. Do you know your audience?

How much do you know about who you’re trying to reach? Do you have market research you can use? Can you look at your Facebook Insights to see the age, location and gender of people who interact with your page?

These insights can form the basis of an audience plan for your campaign. So find out what you can about your audience. Getting more people like them should be the first place to start.

Your intended audience can’t be ‘everyone’. Spray and pray campaigns like that leads to vague messages.

6. Do you know your biggest supporters by name?

If your campaign is social-media focused, this is a great opportunity to get help from your biggest fans. You need someone to share your key messages at the key times and even to help you lobby influencers or journalists.Send a DM to that person who retweets everything you do, and arrange a call or even a meeting with them.