July 11, 2019

A Great British School Fundraiser

Like thousands of schools up and down the country, the day of our annual school Summer Fete arrived last week.

Bunting is flying left to right, people are rooting around for the Sellotape to stick numbers to the tombola prizes, the BBQ has gone on late and the extension cable is just a fraction too short. Anyone who has run a community fundraiser will know the story well. Yet amongst the chaos, everything comes together just in time to open the gates.

This year however, we chose to spice things up. This year we accepted contactless donations alongside cash on the door. We removed any entry price and just asked for a donation from anyone who wanted to support our cause. We are a small school charity, servicing a local authority primary school in rural Hertfordshire. We are an extremely proud school with a highly commendable Head, incredible teaching staff and governors who work tirelessly to uphold our Outstanding Ofsted award.

The charity for which I uphold the current role of Chair provides a pillar to the community of the school and helps raise additional income to enhance the curriculum. The budget cut story is an all too familiar one, and like all schools we need to be extremely conscientious with our spending.

As a charity we run 3 main annual fundraising events, with our Summer Fete being the largest. The contactless devices on the door were well received. In fact, with over 16 million contactless cards now in circulation in the UK (3.5 per UK adult) nobody even questioned the devices and were more than happy to tap away. Our generous donors were pleased to be able to preserve their cash for inside the gates, and I even offered a cash back service on a couple of occasions! As the closest cash point is miles outside of the village, cash is an increasingly rare commodity.

Interestingly the overall split from on the door donations was 54% contactless, 44% cash & 2% cheque…..yes there are still some that write a cheque. Regardless, we are so grateful for all the support and contactless on its first outing toppled cash in its takings. Here at GoodBox, the entire team work tirelessly to support the causes they care about and work collaboratively to build valuable fundraising solutions for all charities no matter what their size.

Our GBx Mini was used on this event, and its first outing raised more than enough to pay for the device twice over, including any set up and transaction fees. This is a truly proud moment as we start to realise that we do have the power to help even the smallest of charities.

The last point I wanted to share with you was around Gift Aid. Gift Aid represents a 25% uplift on eligible donations. Every year HMRC estimate £600,000,000 goes unclaimed in terms of Gift Aid by UK charities. HMRC has all the advice you need to get going and we used simple paper declarations for donors that were UK tax payers. You only need a handful of declarations because you can also take advantage of GASDS (Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme). The GASDS scheme allows you to claim up to £8,000 a year without a declaration so long as you have claimed at least 10% in genuine Gift Aid with signed declarations. You can read more on how to make a claim and eligibility here.

Overall, we raised £2,000 from this event and should make a claim for approximately £250 in Gift Aid. These are funds so vital to our school, and I for one am so proud to be part of an amazing community working tirelessly to maximise our children’s education.

Francesca Hodgson, (centre) Chair of a school charity, Managing Director at GoodBox and proud mother of 2 young boys.

whois: Andy White Freelance WordPress Developer London