Gift Aid - Overview and set up


UK charities can claim an additional 25% on each donation eligible for gift aid. So that £10 donation becomes £12.50!

Donorfy makes claiming Gift Aid easy. Our integration to HMRC automates the Gift Aid submission process. Donorfy checks for only the eligible donations and adds them to the claim for your review and then approval.


This guide explores

  1. Setting up Gift Aid

  2. Donations eligible for Gift Aid

  3. Adding a Gift Aid Declaration

  4. Confirming Gift Aid Declarations

  5. Moving an Active Claim to 'Ready'

  6. Submitting a Gift Aid Claim

  7. Viewing or Downloading a Gift Aid Claim

  8. Reversing a Gift Aid Claim

  9. Gift Aid Reporting

  10. Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

  11. Error Messages and FAQs

  12. Gift Aid Training





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The automated Gift Aid Claims process is available with Starter, Professional and Enterprise plans. Essential subscribers, please contact us to find out more about upgrading. 



Setting up Gift Aid

Firstly, you need to be registered with HMRC to claim Gift Aid. Visit the HMRC webpage on to get started.

Once you have registered, the HMRC will provide you with a Sender Id and Password. Keep these handy, as you will need these later!


In Donorfy go to Financial > Gift Aid

Once in the Gift Aid area, click on the Settings tab and complete the fields.

Organisation Details:

  • Organisation Name
  • Charity Regulator
  • Charity Registration Number
  • Year End Day and Year End Month

HMRC Submission Settings:

  • User Id – also known as a Government Gateway Id or Sender Id
  • Password
  • Your HMRC Reference - this is provided to you by the HMRC

Keeping your details secure

We take security really seriously here at Donorfy. Your login details will be held securely and we will never use these details to directly login to your HMRC account.

Authorised Official:

These details are for the main named person registered with the HMRC.

  • Title, Forename and Surname
  • Post Code and Telephone number


When entering your information in the Gift Aid Settings tab please ensure that they are exactly the same as the details the HMRC holds for your organisation. Any incorrect detail will result in a failed submission - see HMRC rejected a claim - Authentication Failure

If your government gateway password is longer than 12 characters only enter the first 12 into Donorfy.


Once you have entered your details click on Save Settings

To check you have entered a valid Sender id and Password click Test Sign On. If the test fails you will need to correct the Sender id and Password in Donorfy or verify with the HMRC.

Once the test has been successful, you can opt to toggle the Submit Gift Aid Claims to HMRC to Yes and then click on Save Settings. This will then ensure that your Gift Aid Claim follows the automated claim process in Donorfy. 

You can disable Gift Aid claims from Donorfy at any time. Just set the Submit Gift Aid Claims to HMRC slider to No. 


Donations eligible for Gift Aid

Whilst it would be brilliant if all transactions were eligible for Gift Aid, sadly some are not. For guidance on what HMRC deems eligible. Visit

Donorfy will update your Active Gift Aid claim every night and only transactions eligible are added to the claim. For this to happen, the following conditions must always be satisfied:

  • The Constituent must have an active Gift Aid Declaration on their Timeline
  • The Transaction's Potentially Gift Aid-able switch must be set to Yes

  • The Transaction's Date Paid is within 4 years of the end of the financial year you received it in
  • The Transaction's Product is set to allow Gift Aid (Settings > Configuration > Products)

  • The Transaction's Payment Method is set to allow Gift Aid (Settings > Configuration > Payment Methods)


  • Must not have been previously claimed 
  • The Transaction was not imported (using the File Uploader) as either previously claimed or excluded from future claims.
  • The transaction was not set as blocked from a previous claim

The below Constituent details must be present to submit a success claim too.

  • The donor must have a first line of address
  • The donor must have a valid postal address 
  • The donor title must less than 4 characters in length
  • The donor must have a first and last name (or initial and last name)

From Financial > Gift Aid click on the Active Claim tab to see the Transactions that figure in the Active Claim.

The active claim is re-populated overnight to include any new transactions to the claim. For eligible transactions that are displaying an error, see Troubleshooting Errors and FAQs.


Adding a Gift Aid Declaration

Donorfy allows you to record a Gift Aid Declaration on a constituent's Timeline. This includes attaching the scanned declaration form.  To add a new Gift Aid Declaration to a constituent's Timeline:

Go to the constituent's timeline and click Add > Gift Aid Declaration


Check the constituent is the correct one, if not click on Change Constituent and find the correct Constituent profile.

Complete the Declaration details as follows:

  • Check / Enter in details for the Tax Payer TitleFirst Name and Last Name - these are required fields for the HMRC
  • Select a Campaign - optional
  • Select the Declaration Date - date when it was signed
  • Select the Declaration Method from the dropdown list
  • Set the Declaration Start Date
  • Set the Declaration End Date - system creates a future date. This can be changed if required.
  • If the declaration requires confirming please, see Confirming Gift Aid Declarations
  • Click on Save Changes


To attach the scanned document to the gift aid declaration. Open the newly created declaration record and drag and drop the document as illustrated below and click Save Changes. Tip! You can filter the constituent's timeline by clicking on the filter option for Gift Aid Declaration on the left.

Confirming Gift Aid Declarations

If a constituent makes a verbal Gift Aid declaration (e.g. by phone), you need to provide them with written confirmation of their declaration.

To record that, you need to:

  • In Donorfy go to Financial > Gift Aid and select the Unconfirmed Declarations tab
  • You can review the constituents who need a confirmation sent. If you need to remove people from the list, see Changing Confirmation Status below 
  • Once you are happy with the list, click the 'Prepare Gift Aid Declaration Confirmation Details' button
  • Donorfy will then
    • Prepare a CSV file you can download and mail merge into your confirmation letters
    • Update the gift aid declarations as confirmed
    • Add an item to the constituent's timeline showing that the confirmation was sent

Changing Confirmation Status

  • If you have already provided written confirmation to a supporter who exists on the list of unconfirmed declarations, you should
    • Open their constituent record and find the gift aid declaration on their timeline
    • Enter the date you provided the confirmation in the confirmed on date
  • If a constituent does not need written confirmation (e.g. the wrong declaration method was used), you should
    • Open their constituent record and find the gift aid declaration on their timeline
    • Set the confirmation required switch to no

Resending a Confirmation

If you need to resend a confirmation 

  • Open the record of the constituent
  • Find the gift aid declaration on their timeline and clear the 'confirmed on' date

The constituent will then appear on the list of unconfirmed declarations


Moving an Active Claim to 'Ready'

This is automated. So you do not need to do anything! However, if you need to move the current Active Claim amount to the Ready to Claim tab to perform a manual submission, all you need to do is:

From Financial > Gift Aid > Active Claim, click on the button to the right of the Active Claim screen that says 'Move Claim to Ready'. This will then move your Active Claim to the Ready to Claim tab.



If you can't see this, then your Gift Aid settings are not set to Submit Gift Aid Claims to HMRC as per setting up Gift Aid, or you have details in your Ready to Claim tab.

The Ready to Claim must be empty before you move your Active Claim into Ready to Claim. Any transactions currently in your Ready to Claim tab will need to be submitted first.

Once your Ready to claim tab is empty, the Move Claim to Ready will be available 


Submitting a Gift Aid Claim

At the end of the month, the Active Claim is automatically closed and is transferred to the Ready to Claim tab. A new Active Claim is then started for the new month.

Where your Donorfy contains active Gift Aid settings under Financial > Gift Aid, an email is sent to the system administrator(s) with details of the "Ready to Claim" claim.

You can move an Active Claim to Ready to Claim earlier, see Moving an Active Claim to Ready to Claim

The claim can then be submitted by opening Financial > Gift Aid and clicking on the Ready to Claim tab to check that all is well. If you are happy with the donations in the Ready to Claim, you can either

  1. Press the Submit Claim button to submit the claim to HMRC, or
  2. Wait until the end of the month and Donorfy will automatically submit the claim for you.

Once the claim has been submitted, the claim's status is changed from Ready to Submitted. You will now find it under the Previous Claims in Financial > Gift Aid.

We then make regular requests to HMRC to find out the status of the submitted claim, HMRC will respond with the following:

  • Acknowledged: This means that HMRC have the claim but it hasn't been processed - the claim's state remains as submitted

  • Complete: This means HMRC have processed the claim in Donorfy the claim's state will be changed to Claimed

  • Error:  There is some sort of problem with the claim. In Donorfy, the claim's state will be changed to Rejected. You can see the error message in the status. If you are unsure as to why the claim has failed please contact Donorfy Support.


Viewing or Downloading a Gift Aid Claim

After your gift aid claim has been submitted to HMRC, it can be viewed and downloaded from the Previous Claims tab under Financial > Gift Aid.

Go to the Previous Claims tab, and select the claim you want to view. You can download the claim by pressing the download button (the cloud with the down arrow).

The available fields in the report consist of:

  • TaxPayer
  • Payment Date
  • Product
  • Payment Method
  • Department
  • Fund
  • NetAmount
  • ToBeReclaimed
  • TaxRatePercent
  • ErrorDetails
  • ReclaimStatus
  • Constituent HouseBuildingNumber
  • AddressLine1
  • AddressLine2
  • Town
  • County
  • Country
  • PostalCode
  • ConstituentNumber


Reversing a Gift Aid Claim

If you have reclaimed tax against a donation and later need to reverse the claim against that donation,  you should open the Gift Aid claims area under Financial > Gift Aid > Previous Claims

  • Find the donation/s in your previous claim and the constituent's donation.
  • Click on Claimed and change the status from Claimed to Reverse. Confirm the change by clicking on the tick box as shown.



When your active claim is refreshed, you will need to enter the reason for the adjustment e.g. Constituent no longer eligible. Confirm the adjustment by clicking Save.


Gift Aid Reporting

When Gift Aid has been claimed via either the HMRC integration or the file uploader, the amount that was claimed is then added to the Transaction header.

You can see the amount claimed within the status area of a Transaction on a constituent Timeline.


By Each Claim Submitted
You can download each claim submitted to the HMRC via the Previous Claims Tab from within the Gift Aid area.


The report contains:

  • Constituent details
  • Payment Date 
  • Product          
  • Payment Method        
  • Department    
  • Fund   
  • Net Donation Amount
  • Amount to be Reclaimed        
  • Tax Rate Percent         
  • Error Details    
  • Reclaim Status

By Lists

Gift Aid is reportable from within a Transaction Payment List (Gift Aid Amount Claimed field). Lists can be used to show donations for a particular date range had Gift Aid claimed. Tip: To see the amount claimed for a particular Gift Aid claim, this is viewed from within the Gift Aid Previous Claims area.

Filter the List by Gift Aid Amount Claimed => 0.01 

Add any other filters, e.g. Payment Method to refine what Transactions with Gift Aid you are looking to report on. I.e. claimed via Donorfy, JustGiving, CAF, other third-party platforms that claim Gift Aid on your behalf.

Once the filters and your fields (for Gift Aid you will need the 'Gift Aid Amount Claimed' field) are all in place, the List can be Saved and Previewed and then downloaded for further analysis.

By Dashboards

Dashboards feature a quick view of the Gift Aid that is Ready to Claim (only).  See Setting Up Dashboard Tiles for further information.



Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (SDS) allows you to reclaim tax on certain donations without the need for the donor to sign a gift aid declaration. 

The rules of the scheme change, so you should check with HMRC before proceeding. At the time of writing, you can claim as follows.

  • On cash donations of £30 or less
  • On contactless card donations of £30 or less collected on or after 6 April 2019
  • From 6 April 2016, you can claim up to £2,000 in a tax year or £1,250 for earlier years

The Gift Aid claim process allows you to submit your Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme for up to and including the tax year previous to the current tax year. This means you can not claim an amount that falls within the current tax year. Instead, this would need to await the close of the tax year and then be submitted.

Scheme Eligible Donations

For collection boxes, add a new constituent for these transactions. Alternatively, you could add these transactions as anonymous donations.

We recommend creating a payment method(s) for donations you intend to claim under the Small Donation Scheme. This prevents them from being included in your standard Gift Aid claim. For example, if your SDS donations come from collection boxes, create a payment method for this and mark it as not eligible for gift aid.


You will need to create a transaction list to determine the value of eligible donations in a given tax year. The filters you would use for the list would be as follows

  • Type equals Allocation
  • Gift Aid Status Is Empty
  • Allocation Amount less than or equal to 30
  • Date Paid is greater than or equal to start of the tax year e.g. 6/4/2019
  • Date Paid is less than or equal to end of the tax year e.g. 5/4/2020
  • Product equals donation
  • Payment Method equals Collection Box

If you have more than one payment method, you should enclose them in brackets and use or

Reclaiming SDS Gift Aid

You should make a claim when 

  • The total of the eligible donations exceeds the maximum allowed, or
  • You have received all donations for the tax year

You can run your list as often as you like to determine when you want to claim, often charities do this at the end of the tax year. When you are ready to claim, download your list (or create a report from it) so you can keep a record of the donations in your claim.

Under Financial > Gift Aid.

  • The value of the eligible donations you have received. Important. If the value of donations is higher than the limit allowed by HMRC, you should enter the limit rather than total amount.
  • The tax year you want to claim for.

The small donation scheme claim will be submitted alongside the main Gift Aid claim.

When your claim moves from active to ready to claim, you will see a message confirming the details of your SDS claim.

When you view the details of a previous claim, any small donation scheme claim information will be shown in the status message.


Troubleshooting Errors and Frequently Asked Questions

If a donation cannot be claimed, it will have a reclaim status of Error and be excluded from the claim. To find out what the error is, use the column selector button to include the Error Details column. This will enable you to find out what the problem is.

Once you have corrected an error, the donation error details will be updated when the claim has been refreshed manually or as part of the overnight refresh of the Active Claims tab.

Any donations with errors in the Ready Claim will not be submitted as part of the claim to HMRC. Instead, when the Ready Claim is submitted, the donations with errors will be passed back to the Active Claim and any corrections get applied to them there ready for the next submission.


Error Messages


Click to expand:

Address Line 1 too long


The first line of the address can be up to 40 characters long - both house number or building name and street road name (see below) are included in the submission to HMRC so together these must be within the 40 character limit.

You can move address information into the 2nd address line to keep within the 40 character limit.



Postcode invalid


The postcode must be a valid UK postcode


Address Line 1 missing


The address line is missing on the constituent profile and will need to be added


Tax Payer Title and Name detail too long or missing


Problems with the taxpayer title and name must be corrected on the Gift Aid Declaration on their timeline, rather than on their profile.

The details can be found in the GAD in the Tax Payer section as highlighted below: 



Title too long


The taxpayer's title can contain up to 4 letters but no punctuation - i.e. Mrs is ok but Mrs. is not.
There should not be trailing spaces either.
This is the title on the Gift Aid Declaration not the title found on their profile


Forename or Surname too long


Forenames or Surnames can contain up to 35 characters


Missing Last Name


The Last Name is missing on the constituent profile and/or Gift Aid Declaration


The Donorfy Academy features a certification learning course on Gift Aid - enrol here: Gift Aid

Watch the Gift Aid video tutorial 


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