Many charities working with local communities are being asked or expected to take advantage of the Government led strategy that shifts services and provision away from public services and local authorities and into the local voluntary sector.
A major problem faced by these charities is that whilst they work with volunteers, their core professionalised organisations, and the support they provide, has largely been funded through local authorities, which are all experiencing considerable reductions in Government funding, prompting their own downsizing, cost-cutting and service reduction.
Many local charities are thus caught up in the reduced funding climate and it is clear that as such, the charities being external agencies outside local government corporate businesses, almost always are easier targets for cost cutting.
The anomaly is that whilst so many local charities and community groups are being asked to step up to the plate within the developing 'Big Society', they are at the same time needing to downsize themselves or are even being wiped out through insolvency. Another problem that local registered charities face is that their work is local and their voice is largely unheard as the major national charitable bodies develop and establish powerful campaigns and appeals for support and donations.
There is a need for local businesses and individual donors to make sure that the funding needs of local charities and community organisations who address local problems are not being overlooked, under their very noses!
Gift Aid is the main vehicle for tax efficient giving of any donation whether large or small, regular or one-off to charities - irrespective of their size.
We know what Gift Aid giving does for taxpayers, with donors able to ensure that their chosen charities can reclaim the basic rate of income tax on all their donations, equal to 25% of the amount donated. As an added boost for donors, higher rate taxpayers can claim for themselves the difference between basic and higher (currently 20%) or additional (currently 30%) rates of tax against their own income tax liabilities, reducing further the net cost of the donation. In addition, there are a number of other ways of donating or providing support in kind for local charities.