The charity supporter has been left frustrated as her surname is a banned word within its system according to JustGiving.
A charity supporter has been told she cannot give to charities through GiftAid via a major online fundraising platform because her surname is ‘Raffle’
Elizabeth Raffle has been told by online fundraising platform JustGiving that Gift Aid has been removed from a recent donation as her surname is a banned word within its system.
The word is among those that are on an list of words given to the fundraising platform by HMRC to ban.
She has been told by JustGiving that even though her donation is eligible for Gift Aid it cannot be claimed via JustGiving. This is to combat fraud and in Raffle’s case because Gift Aid cannot be claimed on raffles.
Instead she has been advised by JustGiving to contact the charity she supports directly to get them to send a claim directly to HMRC.
“I’ve had a look into this for you and I can see that Gift Aid was removed from your donation by an automated sweep we run each evening,” said JustGiving to Raffle.
“This process has been put in under guidance from the HMRC to ensure that Gift Aid is not claimed incorrectly on donations.
“We have a list of key words and phrases, approved by the HMRC, which when picked up in a name, address or a message, mean we must remove Gift Aid from the donation. The phrase"Raffle" is included in that list, which is why Gift Aid was removed from your donation.
“I appreciate in this case that your donation is eligible for Gift Aid, but as it is part of the list that the HMRC has given us, we will not be able to claim it on our system.
“You can contact the charity directly to let them know that this donation is eligible for Gift Aid and then they will be able to claim the Gift Aid directly through the HMRC.”
Raffle has been left frustrated by the incident and how it could affect her family’s ability to raise money for charities.
“I have come to an impasse with Justgiving who say that all my donations on their platform are ineligible for giftaid because my name is Raffle,” she said.
“I am wanting to set up a fund raising page and don’t want this problem for all my family,” she added.
A Just Giving spokesman said: “Unfortunately, an exception cannot be made in this case. That decision is simply out of our hands."
He added that HMRC’s “automatic sweep process aims to eliminate all potential cases of fraudulent claims.
Although this doesn’t appear to be a fraudulent claim it is up to HMRC to retrospectively grant Gift Aid.”
He added that the Raffle family’s issue affects a small proportion of online charity supporters, due to HMRC measures to combat fraud and suspicious activity. This includes those with a business title in their name, or an unusual name such as a forename and surname being the same.
“We are just the processor not the decision maker,” he added