Retail Gift Aid – a decade and £190 million of success

UK Charities are this month celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first automated claim to HMRC on Retail Gift Aid, a scheme pioneered by Eproductive enabling charities to claim Gift Aid from the sale of donated goods, not just cash.

Gift Aid on cash was introduced in 1990, but the introduction of Gift Aid on donated goods to charity shops by UK taxpayers was an innovation that, a decade on, has allowed Eproductive’s clients to claim an extra £190 million from HMRC. In addition to this benefit, Eproductive’s software and unique service enabled charities for the first time not only to identify their stock donors but to enjoy ongoing communication with them; a move which now sees Eproductive send out 25,000 ‘Thank You’ emails per week on behalf of their clients – that’s more than 1.25 million ‘thank yous’ last year alone!

Since its pioneering work to create Retail Gift Aid in 2006, the company has continually developed its products and services for charities and now provides automated solutions for over 3,600 charity shops, which represents a third of the charity retail sector in the UK. Eproductive has also worked with HMRC to deliver appropriate resources to help charities meet its guidelines. The latest move is the introduction of a Retail Gift Aid Training Package – an online resource that enables charities to remain compliant regarding training for all volunteers and shop managers.

Professor Chris Cowls, one of the founder directors of Eproductive, explains: “HMRC guidelines state that charities should keep records of staff/volunteer training and that they should demonstrate that staff and volunteers have a good understanding of the processes. We’ve stepped in to provide a simple, easy to use online training package for all charities – you don’t need to be one of our existing clients.”

This e-learning module is a cost-effective way for charities to train their volunteers. In addition to HMRC compliance training, the package enables volunteers and staff to receive certificates of achievement.

Since launching in September, the company has signed up 25 charities whose organisations will benefit from the training package. For more information please see https://www.eproductive.com/gift-aid-training/