Managing your Gift Aid declarations (UK only)

ChurchSuite's Giving module enables churches and other organisations to easily keep track of the Gift Aid declarations of their givers.

In this article

Adding declarations in ChurchSuite
Declarations auto-added by ChurchSuite Donate
Adding declarations in My ChurchSuite
Uploading and storing Gift Aid declarations
Identifying missing Gift Aid declarations

Important

Typically, a Gift Aid Declaration provides givers with the option to specify whether the declaration covers

  • Just a single donation being given,
  • All previous donations for up to 4 years from the date of signing the declaration,
  • All future donations until further notice

ChurchSuite records the start date and end date of a declaration. The start date should not be confused with the date the declaration is signed. If the Giver opts to give Gift Aid on all previous donations up to the 4 year maximum, you must enter a start date dated 4 years prior to the declaration date, so that ChurchSuite knows when to claim Gift Aid from. Failure to enter a correct start date will result in historic donations showing as Not claimable. If you experience donations unexpectedly showing as Not claimable, check that the Declaration start date and end date has been entered correctly. Once corrected the historic donations should change to Unclaimed.

Adding declarations in ChurchSuite

Working within the Givers section of the Giving module search or navigate to the giver's profile page and click onto the Declarations tab. Click Add declaration.

On the Add declaration page, complete all the details as appropriate. Typically a Gift Aid declaration is for all donations made by a giver i.e. All Funds, but note the option to select a specific Fund if the declaration supplied is fund-specific. Add the declaration's Start Date, which may not be the same as the date the declaration was signed. For ongoing (enduring) declarations, where the giver has not specified and End Date, you can leave that field empty. See later in this article for further details about optionally uploading a Declaration File. Click Save to add the declaration.

The added declaration is listed on the giver's profile in the Declarations section. There's no limit to the number of donations that can be added for each giver. Note the cog action menu options to further Edit or Delete a declaration in the list.

ChurchSuite Donate enables churches and other charitable organisations to receive online donations - see the related support articles for further information about setting us and using Donate.

As part of the process of making an online donation, the giver can tick to Gift Aid their donation, which has the effect of auto-adding an electronically-signed Gift Aid declaration against the giver's profile in respect of the donation(s) made. Let's look at the giver "user experience" and then we'll look at the giver profile and Gift Ad declaration created in the Giving module.

Donate will collect all the "HMRC required" information, such as the giver's name, address and postcode in order to create their giver profile in the Giving module.

Additionally, and depending on your Giving module settings, the giver can be invited to increase their donation to cover the transaction fee, so that you receive their full donation.

Once a giver's donation has been processed through Donate, the Giving module is updated accordingly. Where Donate matches an online giver to an existing giver profile (based on email address), the donations and Gift Aid declaration are added to their existing profile. Where Donate is unable to match to an existing giver, a new unlinked giver profile is added to the module and the donations and Gift Aid declaration are added too.

Clicking on the pencil icon displays the full declaration, which can be printed if desired.

Remember, the electronic declaration added is only ever in respect of the donation(s) made through Donate. It is not possible for Donate to add a declaration that goes back 4 years to cover any previously made donations. It is also not possible to Donate to create "All funds" declarations - declarations are fund-specific for the fund selected in Donate by the giver.

For one-off donations, a one day declaration is added covering the donation and the donation's fund only. For recurring donations, an enduring declaration is added with a start date for the same date as the donation date and fund, with no end date added.

Adding declarations in My ChurchSuite

Within the My Giving section of My ChurchSuite (if enabled in the Giving module's settings), church members can add Gift Aid declaration, including specifying which fund(s) the declaration applies to. All they need to do is click Add declaration.

On the Add declaration page, they select the Fund (or '--All funds--') and add the declaration start date. The system will allow them to back date their declaration by up to 4 years, in line with current HMRC Gift Aid legislation, which allows churches and charities to reclaim Gift Aid on donations in the previous four years. The end date is optional - if left blank, the declaration will run indefinitely until such time as the church member adds an end date.

Once their declaration has been saved, the only change possible by the giver is End declaration - perhaps if their tax circumstances change and they are no longer paying sufficient tax for your to continue to claim Gift Aid on their donations. This will set the declaration's end date to today's date. If the giver wishes their declaration ended on an earlier date they will need to communicate with your finance office to have that change processed by a Giving module User.

Note: In compliance with HMRC Gift Aid rules, My ChurchSuite users will only be able to add a new Gift Aid declaration if they have a valid UK address recorded in the My Details section of their profile.

Uploading and storing Gift Aid declarations

ChurchSuite also allows you to upload and store 'scanned' copies of paper Declarations against each of your Givers. Once uploaded and stored, HMRC allow you to rely on these scanned copies, saving the need to also retain the paper copies.

To upload a scanned file, select the appropriate Giver in "Giving" > "Givers". Open their profile and select the "Declarations" tab.

Click "Add declaration". Complete the details in the normal way (as described above). Before saving the changes, click "Choose File" to browse and select the previously prepared scan file of the declaration. Note the file requirements - PDF, JPEG or PNG formats not exceeding 2Mb file size. Once uploaded, click "Save Changes".

You can view an uploaded Gift Aid Declaration at any time by simply navigating to the "Declarations" tab of a Giver profile. Simply click "View file". You can also remove an uploaded file by clicking 'x'.

Identifying missing Gift Aid declarations

The Giving module Gift Aid reports (UK customers) make it really easy to identify Gift Aid declarations that may be potentially missing for your givers.

Running the "Declarations Missing" report you can view all active givers without a current Gift Aid declaration on file. From here you can Tag those contacts for later follow up, or you can communicate directly from the report; perhaps sending an email enquiring whether their giving is able to qualify for Gift Aid relief.

Note

Your church may have givers who are not eligible to make a Gift Aid declaration. It may be useful to record this in the giver Notes, or to Tag these givers. By using Tags in this way, you could then "exclude" that Tag from the Declarations Missing report using the Tag filter - this would then leave you with a more accurate list of declarations potentially still missing.

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