How do I Gift Aid donations given via ChurchSuite Donate/GiveALittle?
Using a payment processor such as ChurchSuite Donate, GiveALittle, LoveGiving, Stewardship, CAF, or ParishGiving Scheme not only provides an alternative way for donors to give to your church or charity, but also enables Gift Aid to be handled in a much simpler and automated way.
We'd highly recommend if you use a payment processor that captures Gift Aid details, then you claim Gift Aid directly rather than trying to claim Gift Aid on these donations within ExpensePlus. This will enable you to claim Gift Aid efficiently on these donations.
HMRC does not care how many Gift Aid claims you submit or whether different donations are claimed through different payment processors. Therefore, whilst it might sound like a good idea to bring together all your donations to be claimed inside ExpensePlus, this is not needed, there are no actual benefits to doing this, and there are several drawbacks.
What are the drawbacks?
Where a payment processor captures Gift Aid details there are several drawbacks to trying to claim Gift Aid on these donations within ExpensePlus:
- It's additional work you just don't need to be doing - manually transferring donor Gift Aid declarations each month from ChurchSuite, GiveALittle or another system into ExpensePlus is time-consuming and cumbersome (particularly when you could just claim Gift Aid directly without doing this).
- You are likely to end up with errors - for example a written error when manually entering a donor's Gift Aid declaration information or entering declaration information against the wrong donor.
- It requires additional checks and updates - where donors Gift Aid a specific donation within ChurchSuite or GiveALittle you will have to create a new declaration within ExpensePlus each time the donor donates. Furthermore, there can be an 'income date lag'. Unless the income date of a reconciled donation is between the start and end dates of the declaration you add, the donation won't appear within Gift Aid claims in ExpensePlus and you will need to manually spot and update the declaration.
- ExpensePlus isn't anticipating that you are going to do this - you'll have to overcome the safeguard in place for the 99.9% of churches and charities directly claiming Gift Aid for donations originating from ChurchSuite/GiveALittle outside of ExpensePlus.
Any donations with the 'donation method' of 'ChurchSuite, GiveALittle' (or any of the other payment processors that are able to claim Gift Aid on your behalf) get automatically excluded from Gift Aid claims within ExpensePlus.
To get around this, if you still decide you would like to go ahead and claim Gift Aid on ChurchSuite / GiveALittle donations within ExpensePlus (we do not recommend this), then you will have to set the donation method of such donations as either 'card' / 'cash' / 'cheque' (i.e. NOT 'ChurchSuite' or 'GiveALittle') so that they get included within Gift Aid claims within ExpensePlus.
Try LoveGiving (the ExpensePlus integrated Donations Portal)
If you are reading this article, then you might want to consider switching to accepting one-off online donations via LoveGiving. LoveGiving will provide you with an easy way to accept online donations and allow you to claim Gift Aid directly within ExpensePlus.
LoveGiving is equivalent to ChurchSuite Donate, JustGiving, etc., but is integrated within ExpensePlus. To find out more, click this link - LoveGiving (Online donations platform)
LoveGiving has low fees, is simple to set up, is easy to use, and offers streamlined Gift Aid handling.