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Community Buildings

This information is taken from the HMRC website

A community building is a building, or those parts of it, which the public have access to at some or all times. If you collect donations whilst your charity is carrying out charitable activities in a community building, your charity may be able to claim more under the GASDS.

Examples of community buildings:
The maximum amount of small cash donations that a charity can claim top-up payments on may be increased where donations are collected while it is running charitable activities in a community building from the people with whom the charity is carrying out the activities. This extra amount is known as ‘the community building amount’.

Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) are not entitled to this increased limit.

Buildings that don't count as community buildings

A building or parts of it that are used wholly or mainly for residential purposes or for the sale or supply of goods cannot be community buildings for Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) purposes.

Examples of buildings which are not community buildings:
Any part of a building that is used wholly or mainly for other commercial purposes is not a community building, except at times when a charity has exclusive use of that part to carry out a charitable activity.

Example one

A meeting room in a hotel may be a community building if a charity uses it for meetings of a support group at least 6 times a year to deliver charitable activities to 10 or more beneficiaries. Similar meetings in the bar area of the hotel can't be.

Example two

A charity uses a meeting room in their offices to hold a monthly support group. The meeting room could qualify as a community building while the charity was carrying out the support group activity, if they had exclusive use of that room during the activity. At other times when the charity is not carrying out charitable activities, for example when they are using the room for staff meetings, it does not qualify as a community building.

If two or more buildings are on the same or adjacent land they are treated as a single building for GASDS community building purposes where the same person or organisation holds a freehold or leasehold interest in the land.

Running charitable activities in a community building

To count as 'running charitable activities in a community building' your charity must satisfy the following criteria:
For small donations to qualify under the community building rules, there must be at least 10 beneficiaries taking part in the charitable activity at the time when the small donations are collected and on every occasion when they are collected.

Example three

A counselling group meets once a quarter in a community building to deliver counselling to a group of 12 of its beneficiaries and collects small cash donations during the sessions. It also holds a summer jumble sale and a Christmas fair for the wider community in the same building to raise funds for the charity. It is not entitled to the increased community building amount because only four of the events it holds are to deliver its charitable objectives for its beneficiaries. The other two, the jumble sale and the Christmas fair, are fundraising events.

Running charitable activities in a community building: what you can claim for

If your charity is claiming for donations made in a community building, the maximum amount of small cash donations on which you can claim is made up of two parts:
If your charity carries out charitable activities in more than one community building, and in each case the conditions are met, then you will be able to claim for each building the lower of either £5,000 or the amount of small cash donations collected in each community building

In these circumstances, the 'community building amount' is all the donations collected from each community building you are claiming for added together.


If you carry out charitable activities in two community buildings and also carry out street collections, as long as you meet all the conditions, the maximum amount of small cash donations you can claim on is £15,000. This is made up of two community buildings amounts of £5,000 each (£10,000 together) and the remaining amount of £5,000.

All amounts on which a top-up payment is claimed must be matched by Gift Aid donations at a rate of £1 of Gift Aid donations to every £10 of small cash donations claimed. See the section on the matching rules for more details.

When more than one charity uses the same building

A building may be a community building for a number of charities, so long as they all meet the conditions set out above. Equally the same building may not be a community building for another charity because its activities don't meet the necessary conditions. If a building is a community building for one charity at one time, it does not mean it will be a community building for all charities all of the time.

Example four

A village hall is used by a cancer support charity for monthly group meetings, a religious group for weekly services and a local charity’s monthly fundraising jumble sales. The village hall could qualify as a community building for both the cancer support charity and the religious group. So long as at least 10 beneficiaries attended each meeting and none of the group members were charged an entrance fee to attend, small cash donations from the group members could be claimed against an additional community buildings allowance under GASDS for each of those charities. However, the local charity's use of the village hall for monthly fundraising jumble sales would not qualify under the community building rules as this is not a charitable activity - it is an activity primarily for the purpose of fundraising.

Connected charities and community buildings

There are special rules for charities which run charitable activities in a community building and are connected with CASCs or other charities. These other charities may or may not themselves run charitable activities in a community building. The rules are designed to ensure organisations with broadly similar functions receive broadly equal treatment even if they happen to be structured differently.

If your charity is connected with another and runs charitable activities in a community building, your main £5,000 limit on donations collected otherwise than from group members when running charitable activities in a community building will be shared in the same way as between other connected charities and CASCs.