The amount the average person donated to charity using Gift Aid fell by more than 11 per cent between 2008 and 2011, according to new research.
Analysis by the Halifax bank of figures from the Office for National Statistics, HM Revenue & Customs and the Charities Aid Foundation showed that the average amount per person donated through the scheme was £252 in 2008/09, compared with £223 in 2010/11.
The total of charitable donations rose by 60 per cent between 2000/1 and 2005/6, the report says. But the rate of growth fell to 21 per cent between 2005/6 and 2010/11, and over the past year increased by 2.1 per cent - less than a third of the annual rise over the last decade.
"The discrepancy between the increase in total giving and the decline in the amount donated per person in recent years is explained by a rise in the number of people giving," the report says
Halifax said the research, published yesterday, showed that charitable giving using Gift Aid almost doubled in a decade, from £2bn in 2000/01 to £3.8bn in 2010/11.
The amount of tax being repaid to charities through the scheme has increased from £222m to £962m over the same period.
A survey of 2,000 people commissioned by the bank, also released yesterday, found that the most popular way of giving to charity was through official cash collectors, with 42 per cent of the respondents donating this way.
This compares with 29 per cent who said they donated through direct debits and 37 per cent through sponsorship or by purchasing something. Men were three times more likely than women to give to charity because of a celebrity endorsement, it found.
The greatest prompt for people to give money was a personal connection to a cause, with 51 per cent of those surveyed saying it was the reason they donated to a certain charity.
A third said they donated as a way of "giving something back". A further 24 per cent of respondents said they gave in response to face-to-face fundraising or seeing a TV appeal.
Anthony Warrington, director of current accounts at Halifax, said: "Charitable giving has proved relatively resilient during the economic downturn, with more people giving to good causes despite a fall in the average amount given per person."