Food parcels update

Just a brief update from one ouf our donors regarding the Missionvale Feeding Programme.


“The general feeding programme for the adults continues. Everyday between about 300 to 500 people queue for several hours, in the sun, with little shade to receive a cup of soup powder and half a loaf of bread. For some this is the only food they have for the day.”

Donations form travellers and other sources helped ensure nearly 40,000 food parcels were given out to vulnerable families last year.

If you are travelling in South Africa perhaps you’d like to contribute to this great project, we have raised nearly £9,000 so far. Donate Here!

Food Parcels

Food parcel distribution continues.

New project added in Cambodia

We are delighted to announce our support of ConCERT (Connecting Communities, Environment & Responsible Tourism) a non profit social enterprise based in Siem Reap, registered with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior and the provincial authority in Siem Reap.

Since 2008 ConCERT has been guiding visitors on how they can best support Cambodia’s most vulnerable people and already deliver training to tour guides, staff working in hotels and other tourism businesses, school and university groups, and individual visitors. This covers responsible tourism in general, and how each can play their individual part in improving the lives of severely disadvantaged people, and also how to avoid actions that can make matters even worse for the very people they wish to help.

The funds we hope to help ConCERT raise will enable them to greatly increase the amount and quality of the training they deliver.

Please support this very worthy cause.

New Tax measures affecting charities

New Tax measures affecting charities – March Budget 2011

Gift Aid

2.112  Gift Aid benefit limits – The Gift Aid benefit limit will be increased from £500 to £2,500, subject to the existing 5 per cent limit, from April 2011. New guidance will be published to help clarify what constitutes a benefit. (Finance Bill 2011)

2.113  Gift Aid small donations scheme – From April 2013, the Government will introduce a new scheme to allow charities to claim Gift Aid on up to £5,000 of small donations without the need for Gift Aid declarations. (51)

2.114  Gift Aid online filing – The Government confirms that it will introduce an online system for charities to claim Gift Aid and as a first step will shortly be publishing ‘intelligent’ forms (which contain automatic checks) for charities to use to apply for and claim tax reliefs. Budget 2011 61

2.115  Self Assessment (SA) Donate – To help fund the introduction of Gift Aid online filing, the Government will withdraw SA Donate for tax returns for 2011-12 onwards. (Finance Bill 2012)

Other tax measures affecting charities

2.116  Inheritance tax: reduced rate for charitable donations – From 6 April 2012, the Government will introduce a reduced rate of inheritance tax of 36 per cent for estates leaving 10 per cent or more to charity. (Finance Bill 2012) (50)

2.117  Gifts of works of art – The Government will consult in 2011 on proposals to encourage donations of pre-eminent works of art or historical objects to the nation in return for a tax reduction.

2.118  In-year repayments on tax to charities – The Government will legislate an extra statutory concession under which HMRC makes repayments of tax to certain charities without requiring a tax return to be completed. (Finance Bill 2012)

2.119  Changes to the substantial donors rules – In December 2010, the Government published draft clauses to replace the substantial donors to charities legislation. This anti avoidance legislation denies relief where the donor enters into arrangements with the main purpose of obtaining a financial advantage from the charity. The new rules will commence from April 2011. (Finance Bill 2011)

the complete Budget report can be found here

Red Cross response to Japanese earthquake

Since writing the below article the British Red Cross are now accepting donations, please visit:

Like many of you, we have seen the images coming out of Japan and are moved to see if there is some way we can help. This type of disaster is not something that TravelPledge, with our limited resource, can hope to support in any great capacity. However, we have monitored the British Red Cross to see if we can at least guide our supporters to an effective and capable organisation to help with the long and difficult recovery.

Their statement today is:

We are receiving a large number of inquiries about donations for Japan.

We cannot accept donations where the country affected has not asked for them. The Japanese Red Cross has been working on the ground since the tsunami hit in large numbers, providing first aid and healthcare. It has not requested money, supplies or personnel from us so far. The Japanese Red Cross is a large, well-funded organisation, with a huge amount of experience dealing with natural disasters and well-established emergency response plans and supplies. We have to take our lead from them. We are immensely grateful for our supporters’ willingness to give and appreciate it is frustrating not being able to do so. We will let you know immediately should the position change.

While the Japanese government has asked for some specific operational support from the UK, there has been no request at this time to launch a general appeal for funds from the Japanese Red Cross.

For more information the Directors at TravelPledge suggest you monitor the Red Cross Blog:

Important information for donors

TravelPledge has recently updated its website, as a result there a few important improvements to note.

Donation Pages

Donations are no longer handled by The Big Give. We now have our own system in place which significantly reduces the administration involved in tracking and reconciling donations. The new system also ensures that at least 2% more of your online donation will get to your chosen project, due in part to reduced credit and debit card processing fees.


Gift Aid and Donation Targets

Donors are now able to instantly track donation progress by clicking on the Donate Now buttons within the site. The following information will appear:

Project Name: e.g. Sports Field for  Tshume School

Total Amount Required: e.g. £5,415.00

Amount Donated So Far: e.g. £1,886.05

Please note that these figures do not include Gift Aid. TravelPledge will still allocate 100% of the collected Gift Aid to the donors chosen project.


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