Banks will be urged to allow more electronic giving

Matthew Bowcock of the Community Foundation Network tells MPs about the Philanthropy Review's forthcoming recommendations

Matthew Bowcock
Matthew Bowcock

The Philanthropy Review will call on banks to do more to enable electronic giving, according to Matthew Bowcock, chair of the Community Foundation Network.

Speaking on incentives for giving at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society and Volunteering at the House of Commons yesterday, Bowcock, who is on the board of the review group, previewed  some of the recommendations it would be unveiling shortly.

The review group, chaired by Thomas Hughes-Hallett, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, was set up to consider ways to encourage giving.

Bowcock said the review had been looking at how banks could make electronic giving easier. The technology consultancy company Accenture had been analysing, on a pro bono basis, how this could work and how much it would cost.

Bowcock told Third Sector after the meeting that this would be different from giving through cashpoints, which was talked about in the Giving White Paper.

During the session he summarised other recommendations that the review group would be making, including a focus on payroll giving, the introduction of lifetime legacies and improving the Gift Aid system.

"We focused on a small number of practical changes that could change the culture over a 10-year period and which, above all, we could quantify," he said.

Bowcock said he feared that new technology could lead to "increased Tescoisation of the voluntary sector", because it was most accessible to those organisations with the most resources.

Beth Breeze, researcher at the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy, who also gave evidence, said it was important to continue to spend money on regulating the sector because "there’s a lot of cynicism out there about charities".

Karl Wilding, head of research at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said government policy could go only so far in getting people to give more.

"Charities have to show there’s a need and demonstrate that they’re using the money effectively," he said. "It’s about good fundraising and impact reporting."

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