By Ben Simmons

Steve Dilworth, UK Membership Director of Foresters — the international financial services organisation committed to charitable work in the communities they operate in — looks at what the third-sector needs from the budget:

“While the 2011 Budget introduced much needed reform in the Gift Aid tax relief arena, there is still a significant amount that needs to be done to ensure that charities are able to help as many people as possible.

“Indeed, just 48% of people say they use Gift Aid when they are giving and only 8% claim additional relief on their charitable giving. This clearly means that many charities are losing out on valuable revenue streams — especially when you consider that a further 15% of people had no idea they could claim tax relief when they make a donation to charity.

“Education is key to ensuring that when people choose to donate time or money, the charity gains the most possible benefit. As the Government looks to push the ideal of the ‘Big Society’ we would encourage them to ensure that people understand how to make the most of their charitable giving which can have a direct impact on communities.”