Province of West Lancashire Mark Master Masons

Gift Aid Scheme
Gift Aid is a scheme enabling any registered charity (West Lancashire Mark Charity Fund is a registered charity) to reclaim tax (currently 25p ) for every pound donated to it, provided that the donor is a tax payer and completes the appropriate Gift Aid declaration.
Gift Aid was introduced by the government as a simple means of encouraging donations to charities without the requirement of obtaining tax and National Insurance information from donors, unlike the previous covenant scheme, unless anyone wishes to set up a standing order for a regular donation each month/year from their bank, in which case a gift aid form is required.
A basic declaration suffices for all other requirements confirming that (a) donation(s) made to a charity may be treated as Gift Aid and tax reclaimed on the amount donated.
Gift Aid may be applicable to all donations, regular or irregular, and of varying amounts.
The Lodge charity collection may be such a donation and could be an untapped source of extra income to the Charities.
To satisfy the requirements of Gift Aid, the Lodge Charity Steward is to keep an accurate record of all individual donations.
The envelope scheme assists in this matter and enables a confidential record of all donations to be kept.
The envelope scheme will satisfy the rules and enable the Charity to reclaim the tax due on the donations.
If desired, the Lodge Charity Steward would be supplied by Province with free pre-printed Charity envelopes that state the relevant declaration.
The envelopes are issued via the Provincial Grand Charity Steward.
Agreement to use the Gift Aid Scheme must be obtained in Lodge by a majority of the members.

The Gift Aid Scheme, using the pre -printed envelopes, must only be used for donations to the West Lancashire Mark Charity Fund.
If a Lodge wishes to support any other charity, or provide monies for the Almoner, etc., then the Gift Aid envelopes must not be used.
It is however possible to use the Gift Aid Scheme and support local charities by “ring-fencing” donations through Province.
Details of this facility are available via the Provincial Grand Charity Steward.

To facilitate the Gift Aid Scheme the Lodge Charity Steward will need to organise and undertake the following duties:
  • Create a record sheet detailing names of members participating, date of donation and amount.                                                                                        (See sample form)
  • Distribute envelopes at each meeting to all present, including visitors.

This may be done by either distributing the envelopes along with the summons for the meeting and/or giving them out on at the Lodge Meeting.

  • Visitors using the scheme will need to be added to the record sheet along with Lodge members.
  • Ask all present to complete the envelopes by filling in the required information.
  • Ensure envelopes are collected in the Charity collection and take possession of the unopened envelopes at the end of the meeting.
  • After the meeting, open all envelopes and record the donation onto the record sheet against the appropriate name.
  • All monies must then be “banked separately” (on a separate credit slip) to ensure reconciliation with the record sheet, depending upon the arrangements within the individual Lodges.
  • To enable the Province to reclaim the tax paid, the record sheet must be forwarded on an annual basis to the Provincial Grand Charity Steward.
This may or may not coincide with any cheque being presented at the Installation meeting.
Note: The Gift Aid Envelopes must be kept for seven (7) years on an annual rolling basis and available in case the Charities are subject to an audit by HMRC.
Those brethren who do not pay tax, or do not for personal reasons wish to use the Gift Aid Scheme, continue to place their donations in the Charity collection without using the envelopes – for privacy, they may, if they so desire, to use the envelopes provided but do not fill in the details on the pre-printed part.
The above notes are a précis of the operation of the Gift Aid Scheme, if however you have any queries or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Provincial Grand Charity Steward as shown below:
E. J. Sarti
Greenacres, Bryning Lane, Newton-with-Scales, Kirkham, Lancashire, PR4 3RN
Telephone: 07776110265