Gift Aid on admissions schemes still low among museums, AIM survey shows 

Gift Aid on Admissions

As many as 44% of museums who could claim Gift Aid on admissions are not doing so, AIM’s 2014 Autumn Online Survey has revealed.  This rises to two-thirds of eligible museums with under 10,000 visitors per year. 

Reasons given for not cliaming included: “Not enough visitors to justify cost of equipment”; “Scheme too complicated for occasional volunteers to administer reliably, using personal details”, and “HMRC need to make the collection and claiming of Gift Aid simpler for independent museums”.

Of the 56% of eligible museums that are claiming Gift Aid on admissions, 42% are using the ‘additional 10%’ scheme and 58% are using the ‘annual pass’ scheme.  37% of the respondents did not qualify at all, as they don’t charge for admission. 

Gift Aid On Donations

The AIM survey found 22% of museums do not claim Gift Aid on donations they receive, rising to a third of museums with fewer than 10,000 visitors p.a. All of the respondents with over 100,000 visitors p.a. claimed Gift Aid on donations.

The Museums Association (MA) have also recently published an article summarising a report from HRMC which found that £2.3bn of donations were made to charities without Gift Aid being claimed in 2012-13.

The report is entitled Gift Aid: Understanding Donor Behaviour, and has led the Treasury to announce it will simplify the Gift Aid model declaration form. The new form should be available early in 2015.

The Museums Association summarises the reasons the report gives Gift Aid not being claimed by charities:

The report found that some people were not claiming gift aid because of misconceptions about it, believing that there would be a cost to the charity or to themselves, or that it was such a negligible amount that it was not worth claiming. Others were deterred by an unwillingness to share personal information, or through a general view of form-filling as inconvenient.

The report concluded: “Changing information about Gift Aid will be central to increasing the number of correct claims, and understanding is important to decisions… the findings suggest that once a decision had been made about whether to claim, behaviour quickly became habitual and automatic. Consequently, changing Gift Aid behaviour requires a two-part process: to disrupt existing habits, and to address barriers to claiming or misunderstanding.”

The full MA article is available here: Museums are losing out on Gift Aid | Museums Association.

Members can find out more results from AIM’s survey in the December issue AIM Bulletin, plus discover how museums fared this season in terms of visitor numbers and spend per head.

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