Debate: Should charities be doing more to encourage loose change giving?

A recent survey found that 57 per cent of people carry loose change but only 7 per cent donate any of it to charity

KARL WILDING - head of policy, research and foresight, National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Karl Wilding, head of policy, research and foresight, NCVO

Loose change has always been important to charities. Even as we move to a cashless economy, with smartcards and phones replacing coins for small purchases, schemes that embed giving into transactions, such as rounding up to the nearest pound, are undoubtedly a good thing. But might giving small amounts create a sense of 'job done' among donors who would otherwise give more through different approaches? And could micro-donations set the norm for the level of giving through new digital channels? We don't know, but we need to find out.

AMANDA BRINGANS - director of fundraising, Macmillan Cancer Support

Amanda Bringans, director of fundraising, Macmillan Cancer SupportCharities should definitely encourage people to give loose change - the old adage 'every little helps' is certainly true. The decrease in loose change donation might be related to the increase in use of debit cards for purchases, because fewer people carry loose change these days.

To combat this decrease, Macmillan supports Pennies, the electronic charity box that allows people to donate when they're making purchases using debit cards. We encourage all types of donations wholeheartedly, whether electronic or by giving loose change.

PETER SAUNDERS - chief executive, National Association for People Abused in Childhood

Peter Saunders, chief executive, National Association for People Abused in ChildhoodThose of us lucky enough to be employed should be encouraged to support charities by giving loose change. But at Napac, we have never been under the illusion that this is a cost-effective way of raising money.

We benefit more from getting our leaflets in the hands of people who might benefit from our support. Yes, we've raised a few hundred pounds through the occasional street collection, and no doubt the big charities raise thousands; but the return for effort seems minimal, so our priority is to spread the word about our charity's existence.

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