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Gift Aid Finder Guide

Follow these steps carefully to find Gift Aid for donations you already have whilst keeping your donor’s data safe and secure.

Important things to know before you begin

Your charity must be registered for Gift Aid with HMRC. Any donations collected before your charity was registered with HMRC cannot be included in any claims through this service. Click here to Learn more about registering your charity with HMRC on gov.uk.


Only include donations that your charity received in the current tax year, which is defined as starting on 6 April 2023 and ending on 5 April 2024.


To maximise the potential Gift Aid we can find for your charity it's recommended to send your spreadsheet after 5 April 2024.


Be sure to submit your donations by 19 April 2024. Submissions made after midnight on this date may not be processed.

Step 1

Complete the Gift Aid Finder questionnaire

If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to complete the Gift Aid Finder eligibility questionnaire. It will let you know if your charity can search for Gift Aid at this time and give Swiftaid the insight required to process your donations.

Click here to begin the questionnaire.

Step 2

Register your charity with Swiftaid for free

To utilise Swiftaid for processing Gift Aid claims, it is necessary for an HMRC-authorised official from your charity to register with Swiftaid. This registration is a straightforward process, accessible at charity.swiftaid.co.uk. By completing this step, you’ll establish your Swiftaid account, enabling us to efficiently manage and submit Gift Aid claims to HMRC on your charity’s behalf.

Be sure to read through Swiftaid’s terms and conditions.

If your charity requires a Data Processing Agreement before submitting any data, you can simply download a version to sign and return to Swiftaid. Click here to download Swiftaid’s DPA (Word document).

Step 3

Download your spreadsheet template

Step 4

Enter donation information into your spreadsheet template

Once you have downloaded your template please read the rules on donations below and enter as much information as possible about each eligible donation. The more details provided, the higher the likelihood of finding a match.

⚠️ Important rules on donations you include;

  • Include only current tax year donations:
    • You should only include donations that your charity received in the current tax year, which is defined as starting on 6 April 2023 and ending on 5 April 2024. Donations made outside this period are not eligible for Gift Aid processing through this service.
  • Exclude these donations:
    • Only include donations you authorise Swiftaid to Gift Aid while maintaining compliance with HMRC regulations to avoid double claiming of Gift Aid or Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS).
    • Do not include donations that have already had Gift Aid claimed on them, either by your organisation or a third party (including platforms like JustGiving who may add Gift Aid to donations retrospectively).
  • Follow HMRC Requirements:

If you need extra guidance filling in the spreadsheet please watch the following video.

Step 5

Submit your spreadsheet

Optimal timing for submission 📆

To maximise the potential Gift Aid we can find for your charity it's recommended to send your spreadsheet after 5 April 2024. This is because the tax year has ended at that point, and Swiftaid has the highest number of authorised donors.

Submission deadline ⏰

Ensure to submit your donations by 19 April 2024. Submissions made after midnight on this date may not be processed.

Once you have successfully completed your spreadsheet in accordance with the guidelines provided above. The next step is to securely submit it to Swiftaid. Please proceed by clicking the button below:

Click here to submit your spreadsheet

Upon receipt of your spreadsheet, Swiftaid will commence the process of matching your donations against our extensive database of UK taxpayers. Here is an outline of the key steps that follow:

  • Processing of donations by Swiftaid:
    • Swiftaid will begin by checking your donations against our network of UK taxpayers. We aim to accurately calculate the total Gift Aid amount and will inform you of the findings. It’s important to note that this initial figure may undergo adjustments during the later stages of donor notification and statement preparation.
  • Notification to Donors:
    • Subsequent to processing, each donor mentioned in your submission, where a match is found, will receive an email. This email will outline the detail of their donations where Gift Aid is now due to be added. A crucial aspect of this process is the 21-day period given to donors, allowing them the opportunity to communicate with Swiftaid if they wish to change or cancel their declarations.
  • Finalisation of Declarations:
    • After the 21-day period for donor notification concludes, Swiftaid will finalise the Gift Aid declarations. This step marks the completion of the validation process for each donation.
  • Annual Donor Statements:
    • By May 31st, every donor will receive their annual statement from Swiftaid. This statement will include the total value of donations made by the donor that included a Gift Aid declaration given by Swiftaid over the current tax year. Following the distribution of these statements, a 30-day cool-off period is provided to donors for any necessary reviews or adjustments. Once this period is complete, the Gift Aid claim is ready for submission to HMRC by Swiftaid on behalf of your charity.

This sequence of steps is designed to ensure that the process of claiming Gift Aid on donations is as seamless and efficient as possible, while maintaining the highest standards of accuracy and compliance.

Step 6

Final Result and Report

After the 30-day cool-off period given to donors following their Gift Aid statement, we add the Gift Aid declarations into your charity Swiftaid account and we will email you the final amount of Gift Aid that will be claimed for your charity.

At this time, you can log into your Swiftaid dashboard to access a comprehensive claim breakdown report of all the donations to be claimed. This report will include donation IDs corresponding to each donation listed in the original spreadsheet you provided.

You can use this report to update your systems with donations that now have declarations.

Step 7

Payment and claim submission

Upon notification of the final total amount of claimable Gift Aid, you will be issued an invoice. After we receive your payment, your Gift Aid claim will be promptly submitted to HMRC. Following submission, you can typically expect to receive the funds directly from HMRC within approximately 4 weeks.

Please note that claims will only be filed after the completion of the nominee assignment with HMRC. Should there be any delays in this process, we will keep you informed.

Swiftaid deletes all non-claim-related data, such as donation information we were unable to match for Gift Aid, within 30 days of submitting a claim to HMRC.

For any queries or additional information, we encourage you to visit our FAQs section.


Process Timeline

Below, you will find a timeline outlining each step of the process for your reference.

An image of a timeline showing important dates during The Great Gift Aid Hunt.
Click on the image to enlarge.