Gift Aid on donations received via Facebook

Facebook Donate allows people to donate directly on social media pages through donate buttons inserted into page headers or posts, such as videos, photos or text.

Gift Aid is in theory possible for eligible donations – see more here in the FAQs. However, we are aware that the quality of data provided by Facebook, particularly when the scheme was first launched, was not always as good quality as charities had hoped.

As a result, there had initially been some uncertainty as to whether HMRC would accept Gift Aid claims on donations received via Facebook. CTG has been seeking clarification from HMRC officials who have told us:

“HMRC accepts that donations received via Facebook are eligible for Gift Aid purposes. However, should a charity choose to claim Gift Aid on a donation received via Facebook, the charity must be able to provide HMRC with all the information that it requires to satisfy a Gift Aid audit. If the charity does not feel that it can satisfy the requirements of a Gift Aid audit, from the information it will receive from Facebook, it should not claim Gift Aid on donations received from Facebook.”

CTG did not feel that this is clear enough and have asked for more information and has participated in meetings with HMRC and Facebook. These talks have been constructive but progress has been slow.

CTG can now share two notes that were prepared for the Gift Aid practical issues working group below. As outlined in the first note, claims are possible subject to charities being satisfied that they hold sufficient Gift Aid declaration information via Facebook. This is a decision for individual charities to make and it is important that charities document the reasons why they are making claims.

CTG would welcome feedback from charities that have made successful claims on Facebook donations and any issues they have encountered. Please send any comments to [email protected]. Charities should also consider the GDPR implications of Gift Aid claims via third party fundraising platforms by reading this note.

Gift Aid and Facebook donations – update to the Gift Aid Practical Issues working group, 3 July 2020

“We are pleased to let members of the Gift Aid working group know that a meeting has taken place with Facebook, HMRC and British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK (as representatives of the charity sector) on the application of Gift Aid to Facebook donations. As most of you will know CTG has been pushing for this for a long time.

“This was a positive meeting and Facebook and HMRC agreed to work together so that HMRC’s concerns to understand Facebook’s systems can be addressed.  A timetable for this has been agreed and there was an appreciation of the urgency of doing this.

“In the meantime, HMRC understood that charities who are satisfied with the quality of information that they receive from Facebook will want to make Gift Aid claims in respect of this income as soon as possible.  It was stressed how grim charity cash flow often is at the moment and that that cash is needed now.

“It is for each charity to decide when to claim on this income and it is important that when a Gift Aid claim is made that the reasons for making that claim are properly documented. Facebook donations must meet all the usual qualifying conditions for Gift Aid to apply.  In particular, to make a claim a charity must consider that it (a) has access to the relevant and compliant Facebook Gift Aid Declaration wording and (b) that it is satisfied that the Facebook cash donation income that it has received reconciles properly to the donor information provided by Facebook.”

Note for Charity Tax Group – Update on Facebook Gift Aid by CRUK, October 2020

Purpose: The aim of this note is to update the charity sector on wider developments in our understanding of claiming Gift Aid on donations received via Facebook Donate.

Background: see above

Update: As part of CRUK’s efforts to cleanse and process Gift Aid claims including Facebook donations, we identified multiple name fields on the raw transaction data pulled directly from Facebook.

Within the transaction data we identified the below fields:

  • “First Name”
  • “Last Name”
  • “Full Donor Name”

Facebook guidance states that the “First Name” and “Last Name” fields are the donor’s first and last name. However, we received confirmation from the Social Impact Team at Facebook on 23rd October 2020 that the “First name” and “Last Name” fields are populated from the Donor’s Facebook profile. The “Full Donor Name” field is populated from the entry the donor makes as part of the Gift Aid sign-up on their donation. Please note, the “Full Donor Name” is not always compatible with the “First Name” and “Last Name” fields which could result in Gift Aid being claimed on the wrong person in the instance where “First Name” and “Last Name” data is provided to HMRC.

Based on the above, we are clarifying that the “Full Donor Name” is the correct name that should be used for the submission of Facebook Gift Aid claims to HMRC.

CRUK continues to work with Facebook to drive improvements to the Gift-Aid sign up process across Facebook Donate tools. We have escalated the need to split the “Full Donor Name” field on the Gift Aid sign-up into two fields and to increase validation to drive improved data quality. We also continue to drive conversations around the inclusion of dynamic links to each charity’s Fair Processing Statement as part of donation receipts in order to reduce resource and costs to charities.

We will continue to update the CTG audience and the wider sector regarding any further developments with Facebook.