Elizabeth Raffle had been left frustrated by JustGiving’s online Gift Aid processes that banned her surname.
A charity supporter who found herself trapped in online Gift Aid red tape because of her surname, has been granted a reprieve by an alternative online fundraising platform;Virgin Money Giving.
This is to tackle fraud and avoid Gift Aid being wrongly applied to raffles. The ban also affects those who share a surname with businesses or have the same forename as their surname, which is considered potentially suspicious.
JustGiving had told her that an exception could not be made in her case when they carry out a sweep on potentially fraudulent names and words. Instead she was told by the fundraising platform that she would have to contact the charities she supports directly on Gift Aid matters due to her surname.
But she has since been told by another fundraising platform, Virgin Money Giving, that it is able to carry out an extra sweep of its data to ensure those such as Raffle, who are unfairly caught up in online red tape, can raise money through Gift Aid.
Raffle will now be using Virgin Money Giving and will be encouraging the rest of her family to do so when raising money. This includes fundraising activity she is due to take part in in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society this summer.
“JustGiving told me to tell the charity to claim the Gift Aid themselves. It’s just not reasonable to expect charities to do that,” said Raffle.
“Virgin are applying some common sense so that they can live up to their mission of helping charities in the UK raise the money they need whilst being compliant with HMRC.”
A Virgin Money Giving spokesman said: “There are specific rules around Gift Aid eligibility which we work closely with HMRC to enforce. However stopping people with the name of Raffle ( or any other name) from collecting Gift Aid is not one of them.
"We have automated processes which review donations where Gift Aid is selected when it shouldn’t be in order to minimise incorrect claims or reduce those rejected by HMRC.
“Our automated processes are configured to understand the difference between a fundraisers’ name and any comments with the donation that might state how the money has been raised , such as a raffle , bake sale, office collection.
"As the automated processes are built based on key words such as sale, raffle etc., there may be individuals whose surnames mean they appear on the lists, but correct processes and the right level of scrutiny should avoid their gift aid claim being invalidated.”
JustGiving has been contacted for comment.