After much work involving form filling and online application forms, Hearts & Minds were awarded charitable status at the end of October. Although the running of the group and what we do will not change much, there is an increased amount of compliance and reporting that goes hand in hand with the status. We are well organised as a committee and therefore this does not present a concern to us.
There are many benefits of being a registered charity. The first is the ability to claim Gift Aid from HM Revenue & Customs. If we receive a personal donation of £10 we can apply, by completing simple paperwork, for Gift Aid. That will add an extra £2.50 from Government to the donation. Over the course of a year this enhancement can mount up to quite a few extra pounds.
Secondly, we can apply to larger fundraising organisations for a distribution from their charitable fund. Examples of the areas we can apply in are Rotary, Round Table, Masonic Lodges, Foresters and many more. These organisations raise enormous amounts of money and are always looking at local causes to support. We have been approached on many occasions but have had to turn money away as we were not registered. We are now!
Thirdly, we will be able to attract the attention of bigger organisations such as supermarkets, electrical retailers, professional sports clubs etc for prizes for our annual curry night fundraiser and other fund raising events that we hold. Again, we have been turned down in the past purely based on the lack of a charity number - not because of what we do. Be assured that we will approach those organisations again.
The granting of this status takes us forward into 2012 with confidence of achieving targets for fund raising objectives. We hope to announce the target for 2012 at the AGM.
As always, thank you all for your continuing support.
Hearts & Minds achieve Charity Status.