Charitable donations rose by £400m in past year, survey indicates

Research by the NCVO and the Charities Aid Foundation suggests the UK public gave £10.6bn to charity in 2009/10, despite the tough economic climate

Charity donations rise
Charity donations rise

Charitable donations made by the UK public rose by £400m in 2009/10 but were still £700m below pre-recession levels, according to new figures from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Charities Aid Foundation.

UK Giving 2010, which surveyed more than 3,000 UK adults, concludes that the public gave £10.6bn to charity in 2009/10. It says that 56 per cent of people gave to voluntary organisations - an increase of two percentage points on the previous year.

The research says that the median gift per month was £12 in 2009/10, up from £10 in each of the five previous years. Women aged between 45 and 64 were the most likely to give, with 68 per cent doing so.

The report reveals that the growth in the rate of the take-up of Gift Aid has slowed, with 40 per cent of donors signing declarations, compared with 39 per cent in the previous year.

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: "Charities and donors certainly need to do more to tackle the estimated £750m of Gift Aid that goes unclaimed each year, but we also urgently need the government to set up an online system for reclamation of Gift Aid to facilitate tax-efficient digital giving."

The report says cash remained the most popular method of giving, used by half of all donors during 2009/10.

Medical research remained the most popular cause, with 32 per cent of donors giving to this sector, and children and young people followed with 25 per cent of donors.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said: "This research is a welcome reminder of the British public's willingness to help those in need, even when they are under significant financial pressures.

"However, this is no time for complacency, as departmental spending cuts could amount to a significant shortfall in the sector's earned income."

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