Giving Northern Ireland is committed to increasing giving. By giving in the right way you can increase the effectiveness of your giving and make it more likely that you will continue to give in the longer term. The following information is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice.
Time: Giving isn't only about money, we at Giving Northern Ireland believe that giving of your time, talent and skill set is just as valuable as donating financially. There are many organisations which can help with volunteering opportunities for example http://www.volunteernow.co.uk or search the local newspapers for opportunities. Do you have a particular specialism for example Human Resources, Finances, why not seek opportunities to sit on as a volunteer on the board of a charity? Do you have a local charity shop nearby, call in and see if they require any volunteers, could you help with a street collection? There are many opportunities available for those who are unable to commit a set number of hours per week or month so don't be put off by thinking that any committment would become unmanageable, many charities would be grateful for the help and work with you to see what suits the charity and what suits you.
Payroll Giving: For employees who pay tax via the PAYE (pay as you earn) scheme, it is possible to donate to a charity directly from your salary or company pension scheme before income tax has been deducted (but after National Insurance contributions have been deducted), which results in your donation getting tax relief immediately at the highest rate of tax which you pay. It is necessary for your employer to have a Payroll Giving Scheme in place, but this is easily set up via http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payerti/payroll/pay-and-deductions/payroll-giving.htm Regular payments via Payroll Giving or by direct debit are easier for charities to process and aid planning. It also lowers human interaction, which lowers the administration costs around giving.
Gift Aid: Gift Aid enables a charity to reclaim a basic rate of 20% on any donations made. This means that for every £1 donated, the charity will receive 25p from the government in tax relief. There are some restrictions to the scheme and further information is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/giving/gift-aid.htm If you wish to gift aid a donation to a particular charity, it would be prudent to check with them to make sure they are registered to avail of the scheme (as some smaller charities are not).
Gifts of Assets: Donating assets such as land, buildings, artworks may qualify you for additional tax relief further information is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/giving/assets.htm
Legacy Gifts: Gifts left to a charity via a legacy (from a will) are currently exempt of any Inheritance tax. Further information is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/giving/will.htm
Donor Advised Funds: A donor advised fund is operated via a third party organisation, thus removing the need for you to find your own trustees or to deal with administration of the fund. This is a specialised area and there are professional advisors to guide you through the process or organisations such as Community Foundation for Northern Ireland http://www.philanthropyni.org/ are available for further help and information.