This is a valuable source of income for churches and can increase the amount of donations and regular giving by 25%. The church will need to be registered with HMRC and to obtain a Gift Aid declaration from the donor, who must be a tax payer.

Donations may be regular gifts in which case an enduring Gift Aid declaration should be obtained, or they may be one off gifts (e.g. from visitors) in which case you can purchase envelopes with the Gift Aid declaration printed on them or print your own.

The Parish Resources website has some very helpful fact sheets about getting started, record keep and making a claim at parish resources.

It’s important that the wording of your declaration complies with HMRC requirements and there is a template on the Parish Resources site.

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS)

It is also possible to claim a Gift Aid style payment on donations of up to £20 (increasing on 6th April 2019 to £30) in cash with a cap of claiming on £8,000 of donations per tax year. Further information including record keeping and how to claim can be found on the Parish Resources website.

Parish Giving Scheme

This is a Gift Aid administration scheme which parishes can join at no extra cost and which enables donors to increase their gift by inflation each year. Visit the Parish Giving Scheme website to find out more.

Donation & Gift Aid Software

Software for recording donations

There are several software packages that will enable the recording of one off or regular gifts and have an inbuilt process to make the Gift Aid claim. The church will still need to have first registered with HMRC and to have set up a government gateway account. Details of how to do this are on the Parish Resources website (factsheet 1 for registration and factsheet 10 for obtaining a government gateway account – click here.

Two companies producing software are Data Developments and Envelope Systems. Both of these companies enable a free trial of their products which may help you to choose which is appropriate.

Data Developments have a PC package called Donations co-ordinator with full details at Donations co-ordinator . This has a one off cost for the package and will allow you to have copies of the package and data on a number of computers. Updates are available to download periodically.

Data Developments also have an online package called My Giving which has the same functions as Donations Co-ordinator but lots of additional features as well. There are full details at My Giving. This has monthly cost.

Envelope Systems have an online package called Fund Filer which is also has a monthly cost. Full details are at Fund Filer.

The advantage of online packages is that they are always up to date and data is held securely and can be viewed or input from any computer where there is an internet connection.

There are various other online options which are either standalone or part of a church management package and more information about these and digital giving generally is available at Parish Resources.

Claiming Gift Aid/GASDS on digital donations

Gift Aid and GASDS can be claimed on digital and contactless/Chip & PIN locations in various ways.

Online Donations

Some online providers will collect Gift Aid as part of the donation process.

Contactless Card Payments

Contactless donations are eligible for GASDS as if you were collecting the payment in cash. All the usual GASDS limits apply. The contactless payment limit (£30) now matches the GASDS donation limit (from 2019/20 tax year).

You can also Gift Aid these donations using the process shown in the Chip & PIN section.

Chip & PIN

Chip & PIN donations can be Gift Aided. Essentially you need to collect all the information you would normally collect for Gift Aid and be able to find proof of the donation itself (i.e. on a statement from your contactless device provider)

The best way to do this is to ask the donor to complete a donation envelope (one you would use for cash). You then need to write the date, time and method of the donation (contactless or Chip & PIN) on the envelope; this will allow you to identify the transaction on any statements.

This process can also be followed when the donor has signed a standing Gift Aid declaration to the church.


SumUp, one of the nationally recognised card reader options, have the option to upgrade to their premium donations app (Android only) with includes the option to submit Gift Aid details with each donation.