Saturday, 9 April 2011

Diocese Gets GiftWise

The Diocesan Gift Aid Team report:
St Paul’s College, Burgess Hill played host on 2nd April to the 45th Gift Aid AGM and a seminar held on the groundbreaking GiftWise system, especially developed for A&B Diocese.

ON LINE DEMONSTRATIONS were given to 45 Organisers on the way in which the GiftWise scheme should set-up and operated by parishes and schools.

“Most organiser’s first reaction when thinking about signing up to GiftWise is one of trepidation, but we have already gone through the pain barrier in developing the system over the past 18 months. The support from Bishop’s House has proved to be just the right thing to get even the most fearful up and running” said Ian Dallas, one of the key members of the development team.

Some of the important reasons for getting parishes and schools on-line were listed as being a secure system, able to considerably reduce paperwork and, in these days of recession, being able to make tax claims on a monthly basis.

The proof in the Gift Aid pudding has been that 50 Organisers out of 150 have signed up, already claiming £320,000 in tax rebates from the Revenue.

FOLLOWING ON FROM the seminar Fergus Brotherton, Diocesan Financial Secretary, opened the 45th Gift Aid AGM.

While the Diocese has performed well over the past year, with claims from the Revenue totalling £1.444m, delegates were reminded that average weekly donations still sat at the price of a McDonalds burger - £2.60 per person. The drop in tax rebate from 28p to 25p in the £1, which starts on 6th April, will reduce income by 11%, or £150,000 in hard cash in every year.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. Examples were given of using Planned Giving – Weybridge Parish increased its income by 20% with the second time of introducing this scheme. Also, delegates were encouraged to promote legacies and to keep up the message of attracting tax payers to join Gift Aid.

Moira Bennett and David Goodge - see below
Star of the afternoon was eighty-something Moira Bennett, who proclaimed to the audience the virtues of GiftWise “If a person of my age - and someone most definitely unused to computers - can be standing here today as one of its greatest supporters, then anyone can master the scheme. However, I did have my personal trainer, David Goodge from Bishop’s House, patiently sat at my side throughout the process (pictured)”.

After concelebrating Mass with Fr Rick McGrath, Bishop Kieran thanked the Organisers for their efforts in promoting the work of the Diocese and in spreading the Faith.

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