Independent hospice outstrips larger charities in Gift Aid

An independent hospice is claiming Gift Aid on up to 50% of purchases compared to the 20-30% typically claimed by larger charities*, according to Gift Aid solutions provider BMcAzurri.

Willowbrook Hospice operates 10 shops and a large donation Warehouse and Distribution centre covering St Helens and Knowsley, in Merseyside. Despite their size, they are now claiming Gift Aid on up to 50% of purchases made across their stores.

This success has been achieved not only by the implementation of a Gift Aid solution specifically designed for the charity sector, but by also appointing a Gift Aid Co-ordinator to oversee and train volunteers on how to approach the subject of Gift Aid donations in store.

Carol Varey, Trading Company Manager at Willowbrook Hospice explains: “Our care is free to patients but is not free to provide. Last year, it cost £2.825m to run the Hospice. We are part funded by the NHS who make a contribution of approximately forty per cent towards our running costs. This means that we have to rely on generous donations from the public and our own fundraising efforts to raise the other sixty per cent.

I think many charities fail to grasp just how crucial a role Gift Aid plays, so appointing a Gift Aid co-ordinator was a reflection of our commitment to ensuring that we really maximised it’s potential throughout the organisation. Our latest reports show that this continued focus is having a huge impact on our ability to maximise our own income-generating efforts.”

Bob Morris, from BMcAzurri, who worked with Willowbrook Hospice to implement their new Gift Aid solution comments:
“This is a fantastic achievement for Willowbrook Hospice when many larger charities are only achieving in the 20% – 30% band as confirmed in the 2013 Charity Retail  Association annual report. It really does reflect the commitment from the charity as a whole to making Gift Aid a core part of the day to day business operation.
Gift Aid is one of those areas where if managed effectively, can dramatically increase the level of cash coming into a charity without the need for additional resource or substantial outlay. In the case of Willowbrook Hospice, their BMcAzurri Gift Aid system had more than paid for itself within the first 12 months of implementation, meaning that everything generated after that point can be fed back into keeping the hospice up and running.”
*As reported by the 2013 Charity Retail Association Annual Report