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Thread: Chasing unpaid subs

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Note that with Gift Aid (unless it's changed recently) you need a physical signature so just doing it via OSM's records isn't adequate.
    Pretty much anything goes with Gift Aid declarations, they can just say yes as long as we email them to confirm the conversation.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...d-declarations

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Note that with Gift Aid (unless it's changed recently) you need a physical signature so just doing it via OSM's records isn't adequate.

    i don't think that has ever been the case (cf. just giving etc) and is definitely not the case now.

    3.6.8 HMRC does not produce an official form for Gift Aid declarations, so a charity can design its own. But the HMRC website contains a model Gift Aid declaration and it’s recommended that charities use the model adapted, as appropriate, to reflect the period of the intended Gift Aid donation(s).
    The notes at the foot of the declaration are purely explanatory and can be omitted if you wish.
    Many charities believe a signature makes an individual more committed to their charity. However, there’s no requirement for a declaration to contain a signature and so the ‘signature requirement’ can be removed if you wish.
    The declaration does not require a date but a date serves to identify the period covered by the Gift Aid declaration and where this is not otherwise clear from the terms of the declaration it’s necessary to include a request for a date.
    The charity must tell a donor of the tax implications of making a Gift Aid donation. The charity can choose to leave the tax explanation on their Gift Aid declaration or omit it. If it’s omitted then the charity must ensure that they clearly explain the donor’s tax requirement to their donors and are able to demonstrate to HMRC that they’ve done so.
    A statement that ‘I am a UK taxpayer’ is not sufficient to meet the charity’s requirement to advise a donor of the tax implications of making a Gift Aid donation. A full explanation is essential to protect the individual donor and the charity. If the donor has not paid enough tax to cover the tax deducted from their Gift Aid donation(s), HMRC may ask the donor to pay the difference in tax and donors must be made aware of this. If the explanation is insufficient the Gift Aid declaration will not be valid and the charity may need to repay tax to HMRC.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-detailed-guidance-notes/chapter-3-gift-aid

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    I stand corrected - thanks both!

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    big chris (15-02-2019)

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Note that with Gift Aid (unless it's changed recently) you need a physical signature so just doing it via OSM's records isn't adequate.
    This page says: Many charities believe a signature makes an individual more committed to their charity. However, there’s no requirement for a declaration to contain a signature and so the ‘signature requirement’ can be removed if you wish.

    And further up the page says: Gift Aid declarations can be given in writing (including by email, fax, or text message) or orally (in person or by telephone). A declaration can cover a single donation or any number of donations.

    it would therefore appear to me that a physical signature is not necessary and completion of the OSM gift aid declaration would be more that adequate to satisfy the requirements.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oops - big chris beat me to it (again!)
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    Neil Williams (15-02-2019)

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    I had a similar (although not so serious) issue when I took over as GSL (and a new Chair).

    First thing I did was to write a bad debt policy and got it agreed by the Exec. We then sent the policy to the whole group and told everyone that this was how it was going to be from now on.

    Then we started chasing old debt by referencing the policy. This meant that it was not a personal issue - we were simply enacting a policy that the Exec had agreed.

    It helps to take the sting out of some difficult conversations.

    We use OSM for all subs now - we have 100% collection.

    Once we decided that we had collect as much bad debt that we thought we could, we put it all in writing and formally wrote of the rest of the debt through the Exec.

    Best of luck.

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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    We recently had a parent owing 3 months subs who had literally not paid a penny and had also not paid for the investiture, so when we were investing the first batch of ones that joined us at the same time as that paren'ts child we didn't invest them, and they weren't invited like the other parents. One of them turned up towards the end of the investitures. The result was that we had full payments for everything due and the next months subs sorted and dropped off at the treasurers house by the deadline, so we invested their child the next week with the mop ups. The key was that they saw their child losing out - it seemed that they just hadn't got round to sorting out paying.
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    Escouts Founder Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevS View Post
    Thanks everyone.
    Leaders shouldn't have to chase subs, that can sit with us but I haven't had a treasurer for 3 years (we had two people offer early on and they both ran away when they saw the mess it was in when I first took over) so it's taken time to get to this audit. Sounds like OSM is going to be the best bet for us, although their DD system leaves a lot to be desired when you have a lot of sections. We do already have OSM set up for subs, but I'm not close enough to it to understand it fully. As a parent I have to authorise the DD every month to pay the subs, which seems really odd, I don't think it's set up right so it's on my list to review , then I'll move them all to OSM. I'll have another chat with the GSL and GC and OSM direct.
    Hi we have started using OSM for Subs, you can set it where it will automically take the subs payments off, once they have signed up to the direct debit

    You require all payments, and permantly disable the Pay Now option for your Subs Schedue.

    Works a treat, no chasing required, other that OSM's automated emails

  11. #23
    Senior Member derekchambers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taeniura View Post
    My wife's group use OSM and Go Cardless. Getting subs in at one time was a nightmare. Leaders said it was not their job to chase parents for money or they did not like asking for money. they are now two years down the OSM Go Cardless route and have a 100% success rate Not all want to pay by standing order and there is the odd one who pays by cash and two who pay by BACS. end result treasurer happy, GSL happy and Executive happy.
    wow even with OSM i still cant get 100% and hve some that is liking pullig teeth
    Derek Chambers,

  12. #24
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    Up 'til now, we've been relatively old-fashioned although we're slowly starting to catch up to the 21st century I guess - parents will come in, they pay cash for their little darling's subs. We also somehow manage to maintain a 100% payment rate.

    Historically, this was done on a weekly basis - which would currently equate to £3 per child per week.

    In the last few years, our illustrious Treasurer started offering a small discount to advance payments, which has inspired many parents to switch away from weekly payments to paying in a block; at first, it was done in 4 quarterly payments, but since we close during school holidays, we eventually dropped this in favour of 3 termly payments (which has proven very popular) currently £32 each. Most parents pay this way, a couple are not quite so well-off and prefer to pay weekly rather than a large lump in advance but they do all pay.

    We do also offer the option of paying by bank transfer (or even DD every 4 months) directly to the Group, which some prefer for the convenience of not faffing around with cash; we used to allow payment by cheques, but stopped this due to cheques frequently being returned because of parents making out the payee name wrongly. xD

    Generally, most parents will pay for a whole term in one go within about the first 2 or 3 weeks. They see me every week at the Pack and I do gently remind them, I also send out a general email to all during the school holidays that the new term will be starting soon and please pay, and a reminder after the first few weeks/the first month has passed. That always catches the few stragglers who forgot to do it earlier (genuinely, our YPs parents are quite a scatter-brained and forgetful lot! xD)
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevS View Post
    Hi

    I fell into being Chair of a group that had no committee, oversight or structure really, 3 years ago. It's taken time to get the Charity Commission reporting up to date, form a comittee, get access to bank accounts, bills etc etc. We manage 3 buildings, 170 odd kids across 8 sections.

    Don't worry it's only a meeting 3 times a year was the opening line 3 years ago ..........

    Anyway I'm just finally getting round to looking into subs payments, which I think are 30% short. First section I've delved into it seems half the parents aren't paying. Payments are generally by standing order with a few paying on OSM.

    Has anyone got some good advice on how to pursue these parents, the committee probably won't agree to my one line email saying "pay up or we'll kick our your child" and as I suspect I will have quite a few to pursue any advice from others who have been through the same on how to go about this more politely would be great.

    Thanks


    Late to this discussion, I thought it was the odd set of subs...

    I know of a similar scenario. When the GSL investigated, he discovered that subs had been paid weekly... The Leaders concerned claimed that they took the subs to pay for materials they needed, but failed to keep receipts.

    The amount of shortfall over a three year period was considerable. The GSL wanted to call the Police in, but the DC blocked this, sacked the Leaders and left it as it was.

    I had a couple of lads not pay weekly subs... when I brought it up with the parents it turned out they had given the kids the money but they had simply told me that their parents had forgotten to hand it to them.
    Ewan Scott

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  14. #26
    Baloo KoopaCooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Late to this discussion, I thought it was the odd set of subs...

    I know of a similar scenario. When the GSL investigated, he discovered that subs had been paid weekly... The Leaders concerned claimed that they took the subs to pay for materials they needed, but failed to keep receipts.

    The amount of shortfall over a three year period was considerable. The GSL wanted to call the Police in, but the DC blocked this, sacked the Leaders and left it as it was.

    I had a couple of lads not pay weekly subs... when I brought it up with the parents it turned out they had given the kids the money but they had simply told me that their parents had forgotten to hand it to them.
    Okay, this is something our Group has actually been doing for a considerable number of years - collect subs in primarily by cash (weekly/monthly/termly/whatever bloc) and then use cash to buy anything the section needs. But just to be clear, there's nothing funny going on at all in our case.

    The thing is, we got the Treasurer's permission to do so before we started, on the basis that it would save him having to write a cheque out for every little thing - anytime we buy badges, certificates, foam footballs, drinks and biscuits for the children, paper, pencils, etc etc etc...

    All sections have got really good at keeping accurate and thorough records of what money has been collected in (and for which YP), and precisely how much was spent in expenses and on what (and matched against every single receipt).

    So doing this is okay, but only as long as everybody knows what's going on and everything balances at the end of the day.
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  15. #27
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoopaCooper View Post
    Okay, this is something our Group has actually been doing for a considerable number of years - collect subs in primarily by cash (weekly/monthly/termly/whatever bloc) and then use cash to buy anything the section needs. But just to be clear, there's nothing funny going on at all in our case.

    The thing is, we got the Treasurer's permission to do so before we started, on the basis that it would save him having to write a cheque out for every little thing - anytime we buy badges, certificates, foam footballs, drinks and biscuits for the children, paper, pencils, etc etc etc...

    All sections have got really good at keeping accurate and thorough records of what money has been collected in (and for which YP), and precisely how much was spent in expenses and on what (and matched against every single receipt).

    So doing this is okay, but only as long as everybody knows what's going on and everything balances at the end of the day.

    IF records are kept. But even if there is no fraud, if there are missing records, then reputations are at risk.

    In every workplace, every voluntary area that I have worked in, operating on a cash basis has invariably led to issues.
    Ewan Scott

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  16. #28
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoopaCooper View Post
    Okay, this is something our Group has actually been doing for a considerable number of years - collect subs in primarily by cash (weekly/monthly/termly/whatever bloc) and then use cash to buy anything the section needs. But just to be clear, there's nothing funny going on at all in our case.

    The thing is, we got the Treasurer's permission to do so before we started, on the basis that it would save him having to write a cheque out for every little thing - anytime we buy badges, certificates, foam footballs, drinks and biscuits for the children, paper, pencils, etc etc etc...

    All sections have got really good at keeping accurate and thorough records of what money has been collected in (and for which YP), and precisely how much was spent in expenses and on what (and matched against every single receipt).

    So doing this is okay, but only as long as everybody knows what's going on and everything balances at the end of the day.
    The closest I ever come to this is if I run swimming or similar and even then i explicitly say: scouts will be paying for themselves. Please go to the desk and pay the swimming pool. Do not pay me directly.

    I have a horror of the position this puts people in and the ease with which it can go wrong.

    If I ever had to take cash for something. (quasar, for example). I would not use the scout cash got that. I'd pay and bank the cash. Then get paid out.

    With OSM, I don't see cash or cheques from one year to the next now!


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    I am not knocking anyone here, I am just considering the situation,

    We have run Junior Navigators on a weekly payment basis for the past year. It is only 18 kids but it is a nightmare. - Some pay every week, some forget ther money and pay double, some don't pay and then i am faced with the awkward situation of asking them for £3. Okay, I could let the £3 go, but if it is every week that isn't fair.

    I then also have cash that needs banking. That, for me, is now a special trip into town just to bank the subs from Juniors. I also have to record every week that they have paid ( a gift aid requirement).

    I have , this term, moved them onto termly payments in line with Navigators, There will be a couple of weeks taking in subs, though increasingly they are paying by SO. So I have no issues with cash accumulating, I only have to chase "that" dad once, I don't have to visit the bank as often.

    I haven't quite reached everythng by SO yet, but we are getting there. Much easier. The only trouble is reconciling who has paid against the membership list - despite asking them to reference using name and subs, eg SmithSubs - we get some payments made with just the parent account as reference and the parent's name is often not the same as the kid's name. But we get there.

    In all my time, I quickly moved from weekly to termly payment when I realised how much control weekly needed. Imagine the chaos of 150 kids all paying subs weekly in cash... across three different sections , requiring three cash books, and three sets of people collecting and tracking... nope.. not for me.
    Ewan Scott

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    I think it depends on how big your group is and on the relationships between the people involved.

    I also think we're too quick to assume the worst of people and situations. (I'm saying that as a person who generally does think that, but accepts that in a scout group, people will know each other so have a level of trust.)

    I have cheques amounting to ~£800 that I can't pay in to my account because my daft bank keep bungling sending out more paying-in envelopes - and they closed my closest branch, so I can't pay them in there any more.

    We're moving to fix this, but it's a pain. If I can, I prefer to avoid going the cheque route. For section nights, if the kids are paying themselves in (or would be if I'm not booking/paying in advance), I take the cash of them and hand the invoice/receipt to the treasurer.
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 07-05-2019 at 10:10 AM.

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