Hi Nick

Over the last few years the Foundation has decisively moved away from allowing local chapters to take part in the on-screen fundraiser, preferring to centralise the work in spite of the loss of the available local tax reliefs (such as Gift Aid in the UK). Many chapters, including the UK, would have liked to have been part of the fundraiser, but the previous ED, Sue Gardner, determined that that would not be permitted. WMUK regretted that decision, and we responded to it here: https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Open_letter_to_Sue_Gardner.

We accept that decisions such as these are entirely within the WMF's remit, and we are now actively working on improving our ability - as recommended by the Foundation and the FDC - to seek charitable funds directly from local sources, on which we can reclaim Gift Aid.

Best regards

Michael

____________
Michael Maggs
Chair, Wikimedia UK

Nick Birse <mailto:w...@nbir.se>
5 December 2014 17:28
I don't want to be seen to be taking sides and don't intend to become
embroiled in WMUK internal politics (which is why I've never joined the
chapter).

I've never received an explanation as to why around $500,000 of Gift Aid is
out of reach and unavailable to either WMUK or WMF, despite asking this be
dealt with at Wikimania 2014.

Are there easily explainable circumstances, legislation changes or new
rules which prevent donations to WMF to be processed in such a way as to be
eligible to collect Gift Aid ?

If not, why hasn't WMF set up a British office to collect this money in the
UK and/or why isn't WMUK processing payments and collecting Gift Aid this
year ? This is a significant portion of what WMF will spend in the UK (via
WMUK's request from the FDC) and would have made up to $500,000 available
to spend elsewhere, either UK and/or globally.

The Institute of Fundraising suggests overseas charities fundraising in the
UK should find a British charity that can act as a strategic partner, or
have a local office (see
http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/guidance/about-fundraising/raising-money-for-charities-abroad/
). I understand the structure is quite different, but Greenpeace does this
through the UK based "Greenpeace Environmental Trust" which is a registered
charity and which can collect Gift Aid. The donations + Gift Aid are then
passed to "Greenpeace International" in Amsterdam, and that funds things
like the "Rainbow Warrior".

I would also appreciate analysis being conducted to see if the loss of Gift
Aid has deterred people in the UK from donating, because not collecting
Gift Aid is bad enough, but also losing donations would be entirely
unforgivable.

Kind Regards,
Nick
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