Givey - an answer for Gift Aid?

20 December 2010 | By Cause4 staff

Following the recent Gift Aid Forum Report by Peter Fanning, which detailed a number of recommendations aimed at improving the Gift Aid system, the HMRC has announced some overdue developments. These include setting up a Charity Tax Forum to make headway with the recommendations highlighted and introducing ‘intelligent forms’ in the New Year for charities to increase their accuracy and prevent common errors when applying for Gift Aid. However, the most intriguing idea is that of ‘Givey’.

Givey is a donor-orientated system which makes full use of mobile and social media technology, allowing donors to give tax efficiently whenever, wherever and however they want - vital for increasing Gift Aid donations. Developed by David Erasmus, a digital entrepreneur and co-founder of online social enterprises in South Africa and explained in his research paper titled Mobile Giving Research, Givey enables donors to create a centralised giving account whilst providing a technical infrastructure for charities to integrate channels via SMS, Mobile Web, Twitter, Facebook and email. At the heart of this system are mobile and social aspects which Erasmus believes captures the attitude and behaviour of the next generation.

It is this type of thinking that is welcomed by the Charities Aid Foundation and Dame Stephanie Shirley, the first government-appointed Ambassador for Philanthropy, “David Erasmus’ work is a fantastic development for the future of philanthropy, a cutting edge opportunity for charities - big or small - to engage with a growing mobile generation.” With cultural shifts changing the way mobile-savvy young people think and act, this idea would put convenience and usable tools in their hands, breaking down barriers and ultimately increasing overall donations.

There is still much work to be done both to raise awareness of Gift Aid – particularly among donors – and to improve the knowledge and capability of charities. A recent Digital Giving report from thinktank ResPublica highlighted that Gift Aid is claimed on fewer than 5% of text donations. Moreover, with a forecasted boom in mobile commerce by 2012 and the growing convergence between mobile and social media platforms, Givey could be the key to unlocking the philanthropic potential the Third Sector needs right now.

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