Graham Titterington: May 2015
Giving to charities through Church
We often organise collections for charities related to the mission of our church, for example the recent appeals for Christian Aid and for the Nepal Earthquake victims (when we gave money through All We Can). We regard this as part of our calling, as well as being a convenience for our members. However the mechanisms for doing this are unduly complicated as some donors give cash, some give cheques payable to Alton Methodist Church, some give cheques payable to the charity, and some give CAF vouchers payable to either AMC or to the charity. In addition to this, some donors are registered for Gift Aid with us, and some complete the Gift Aid form on the donation envelopes. All this makes it very complicated for both our church and for the charity to process!
The basic rules are that we can only pay cheques into our bank account if they are written as payable to Alton Methodist Church. We can only reclaim Gift Aid if the money is paid into our bank account and if the donor can be identified. To a limited extent we can also reclaim Gift Aid on anonymous cash donations (for example loose cash), but there is an annual limit on this which we normally exceed.
So the best method of giving is for you to give either in cash or by a cheque made payable to "Alton Methodist Church", using the charity envelope or a special collection basket to ensure that the money goes to your intended charity. If you are eligible to use the Gift Aid scheme, please include either your name and address or envelope number on the envelope so that we can reclaim Gift Aid to the maximum extent. This is always passed on to the charity. CAF vouchers are also fine, and in this case you can either make it payable to AMC or to the charity (there is no further Gift Aid reclaimable on these and they have to be sent to CAF in either case). However please do not give us cheques payable to the charity as the only thing we can do with these is forward them to the charity, creating more work for the charity.
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