Change in ‘Gift Aid’ status
Growing pains – we lose our partner
We have known for some time that our partner charity Hope for Children’s involvement with Ray of Hope was not going to be open-ended and that at some point they would be withdrawing. Unfortunately, that time has arrived sooner than we expected and their departure leaves a big hole to fill. We are very grateful for their support of the project over six years, and in particular, for their assistance in purchasing the new school building.
We learnt last year to see each crisis as an opportunity to grow, and whilst on the one hand, the loss of such a good friend does leave us with a funding challenge, it may well be the spur we need to take the next step ourselves – registration!
The first and most immediate impact upon ‘Friends..’ will be the loss of the Gift Aid facility that we have enjoyed through Hope for Children. With immediate effect we have lost that benefit, and now all sponsors and donors will be advised that we are unable to recover the tax on gifts received. Although we are seriously considering registering ‘Friends..’ with the Charity Commission, and have already started that process, we will not, in the short-term, be able to obtain the Gift Aid on gifts and donations. We hope that our fellow ‘Friends’ will be happy to continue to support us until decisions are taken concerning our long-term future. This will mean transferring existing Standing Orders to our own accounts and we will be contacting all sponsors and donors in the near future to arrange this. However, we are conscious that ‘Gift Aid status’ may well be considered a necessary requirement by some if their support is to continue. We would therefore understand if some folk felt that they had to withdraw.
My wife Liz and I, are visiting Ray of Hope in mid-July and will be able to more accurately assess the situation and come back with a clearer vision of the way forward. We will keep you all updated. We are grateful for your trust and really hope that you will feel able to continue to support Ray of Hope through this difficult time.