One simple action, one big impact: 5 facts about Gift Aid

Learn more about gift aid, and how one simple action can make a big difference to charities like us.

18 July 2023

Woman sawing wood on the roof of a new shelter in Mozambique

From tents to tarpaulins, the aid we supply to those affected by disaster and conflict is fully funded through donations from our generous supporters. But did you know there is a way that these donations could go even further?

Gift aid is something you may have seen mentioned in connection to charities in the UK, but might not know exactly what it means. In this blog we’re sharing five facts about gift aid, and the difference this one simple action can make to charities like us.

1. Gift aid allows charities to claim an extra 25p for every £1 that is donated 

Woman holding a baby and the hand of a child next to a tent in Turkey
“This tent is not a small [gesture]. For us, it’s a huge support. It makes us feel safe.” Aleu and her family received a tent after their home was damaged in the earthquakes in Turkey



Gift aid is a UK government initiative that allows registered charities to claim tax relief on the donations they receive.

It’s based on the assumption that most people donate to charity after they have already paid tax on their income. Through gift aid, charities can claim back your tax from the donation from HM Revenue and Customs.

If all that sounds very complicated, in practical terms it allows charities like us to claim back 25p for every pound donated (as long as the donor opts in for gift aid). So if you donate £1, we would actually receive £1.25, or if you donate £100, we’d receive £125. While it may not seem like much individually, for us it can really help boost the amount of aid we’re able to offer the people we support. And the best news is, we can claim gift aid at no extra cost to you!

2. All UK taxpayers are eligible for gift aid

Woman standing in front of a damaged house in Ukraine, part of which is covered in a tarpaulin
“The tarpaulin is a very valuable thing for us, we plan to cover half the roof over the weekend. There was a crack in the wall, and it was necessary to dismantle the bricks and lay new ones. Yesterday it was raining, so they used the tarpaulin to protect the freshly placed bricks.” Angela received a shelter kit after her home was damaged in the Ukraine conflict.



If you are a taxpayer in the UK, then you are eligible for gift aid. This means you do not need to be employed, as you would still be eligible if you pay tax on things such as personal or occupational pensions, stocks and shares, bank or building society accounts, rental income, or overseas or UK investment dividends. 

If you live overseas but pay UK tax, you are also eligible for gift aid. 

Higher rate taxpayers can also claim extra tax relief on gift aided charity donations. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the website

3. You need to opt in to allow us to claim gift aid 

Man with walking stick sitting in front of a shelter
“This new shelter means a lot more to me than just having a place to live since I am a man who has a disability and lives in this camp. My anxiety around money is much reduced, and I have a greater sense of security as a result of this.” Haafow received a new locally appropriate shelter in Somalia as a result of our work with the Juba Foundation.



In order to allow a charity to claim gift aid on your donation, you need to opt in – the charity cannot claim it automatically. 

One simple action is all it takes to make a difference! You just need to fill in a gift aid form with your name and address, read the declaration, and then tick the box or sign and date to confirm you’ve read it. Completing our gift aid form will allow us to claim gift aid on any donations you may make in the future. It will also allow us to claim gift aid on any donations you have made over the past four years. And you don’t need to be making a donation right now to complete the form! You can find it on our gift aid page here. 

If you have completed a gift aid form and need to change your details (for example if you’ve moved house), please contact our Supporter Care Team on 0300 0300 500 or [email protected]. It is also very important that you let us know if you no longer pay tax.

4. Gift aid can only be claimed on donations from individuals

Woman carrying a child who is holding a solar light
“If you add symbolic value to something that is small, it can have so much effect. They have the light and this means they can guide each other forward.” Sandra, a social worker in Peru, explained the beneficial impact of our solar lights on the local community.



For a charity to claim gift aid, they need permission from the individual taxpayers that donate. As such if you’re paying in money collected from a lot of different people (say a club or a group of friends fundraising), you can’t claim gift aid. 

Likewise donations from workplaces and community groups are not eligible for gift aid. 

Gift aid can also only be claimed on donations. It cannot be claimed when anything has been sold to raise the funds – so money from things like bake sales, raffles and the like are not eligible. (Although still very much appreciated!) 

If you are undertaking a challenge or similar and asking for sponsorship or donations, you may wish to set up a page on a website such as Just Giving. Such websites pay the individual donations you receive directly to the charity. As such each person who sponsors you can sign up for gift aid through Just Giving if they are eligible. It’s a great way to maximise the impact of your fundraising challenge! We have instructions on how to set up a Just Giving page here

5. Gift aid donations make a real impact

Woman placing a mosquito net over the doorway of a tent
“The difference is clear now that when we use mosquito nets there is less malaria. Indeed, these nets protect us from mosquitoes, and we can sleep better than the past.” Even a relatively inexpensive item like a mosquito net can make a massive difference to a family like Falmata’s in Cameroon.



For charities that rely on donations like us, the extra income from gift aid donations can be invaluable.  

For example, adding gift aid to a £20 donation means that we receive an extra £5. That covers the cost of a mosquito net, helping to protect a family from serious illness. 

And on a donation of £100, by adding gift aid we will receive an extra £25. This covers the cost of winter bundle for a baby, vital for people forced to leave everything behind. 

Plus of course the money can help cover the costs of shelter kits, solar lights, tents and more. 


One simple action can make a massive difference to people who need shelter after a disaster. And it won’t cost you a thing!  


 Register for gift aid today