Grace Cowley coordinates CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day Appeal. Here she tells us why she’s so passionate about Gift Aid and the difference it makes to CAFOD’s partners around the world.
The Gift Aid system, which gives back tax to charities from donations from tax payers, has just turned 25 years old. You’ll have seen Gift Aid forms when making donations, but it may surprise you just how special this little form is.
“It might just be a drop in the ocean, but the ocean is made up of lots of drops.” Evelina Manola, Caritas Hellas in Greece
In the past 25 years, CAFOD has received £42 million in Gift Aid. That money can be used for any project around the world, which means it can pay for work in places of great poverty, which perhaps aren’t in the headlines.
This is the heart of why Gift Aid is brilliant – because it enables more people to overcome poverty and injustice. The Gift Aid on £1 – 25p – could buy enough rice to feed a family for a day after a natural disaster. The Gift Aid on a £10 Fast Day donation – £2.50 – could pay for antibiotics at a health centre in Niger.
All that has to happen to unlock this money is for tax payers to fill in the little form at Lent Fast Day, or tick the Gift Aid declaration when making a donation online.
If one person in each parish this Lent signs a Gift Aid declaration on a gift of £10, we could bring clean water to eight communities in Ethiopia. If five do it, CAFOD will be able to claim £28,125 in Gift Aid – which would fund the running of seven health clinics in rural Guatemala, allowing mothers and babies to be treated for malnourishment and other diseases.
So what can you do?
- If you pay tax, please sign the Gift Aid declaration on your donation envelope this Fast Day. This 25 per cent will make a real difference. We always handle your details in accordance with Data Protection law, and we never share your details with anyone else.
- If you can give the Fast Day short talk in your parish this weekend or next weekend, or get someone else to, there’s a bit at the end telling people about the difference Gift Aid makes.
And with Match Funding this year, every gift unlocks both Gift Aid and Aid Match funding – meaning even more money goes to life-changing work.