Steve Brine met up with a new local business promising to find spare cash belonging to charities that they were previously unaware existed.
Back of the Sofa offers advice and all the necessary forms for charities to apply for discounts on overheads, claim rebates and maximise available tax relief. It also offers fundraising ideas that, importantly, do not rely on asking supporters to make further donations. The service is free to use and aimed primarily as an online tool for the hundreds of thousands of finance directors and volunteer treasurers working in the UK's charity sector.
As well as how to save time and money when buying utilities, Back of the Sofa pinpoints where reductions may have been historically overlooked and can be reclaimed. Some charities, for example, are mistakenly charged the wrong rate of VAT on their energy bills and this, in turn, results in Climate Change Levy being automatically slapped on top. However in the majority of cases both of these overpayments can be backdated four years which, if successful, effectively gives the charity a year's worth of free energy.
Steve Brine said: "I was delighted to meet Nick Heath at one of my local surgeries. This really is a fantastic idea. There is so much potential, and we had useful conversations around Gift Aid as well as VAT and general overpayments which are potentially worth thousands. I'd very much encourage anyone involved in the charity sector to take a look."
Nick Heath said: "Charities are literally sitting on pockets of cash that could be freed-up and put to better use. It's all about drawing attention to the opportunities that exist and making the process as painless as possible. Often it's case of 'if you don't ask, you don't get' or just waking up to the fact that - even for those with charitable status - there's no reward for loyalty when it comes to utilities. Any charity looking to switch allegiance can now do so safe in the knowledge that help is at hand from a free resource with their best interests at its heart."
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