FUNDRAISING NEWS: Giving Campaign asks for 'crap' gift amnesty

Why not replace 'crap' Christmas gifts with a donation to charity? That's the message from a Giving Campaign initiative this month to encourage shoppers to think twice before splashing out on unwanted presents.

The campaign is urging the public to join its 'Crap Christmas Amnesty', after discovering that £140m is spent each Christmas on unwanted presents for work colleagues or distant relatives.

Lucinda Gould, the campaign's spokeswoman said: "We commissioned a survey and found that millions of pounds are spent on jokey presents that people don't really want, or that give five minutes' entertainment. So we're asking the public to consider donating some of that money to charity instead."

The survey found that one in four people who received unwanted gifts donated them to charity shops, a quarter gave them to someone else, and 8 per cent threw them away.

The initiative includes a mock-up advent calendar on the Giving Campaign website, showing 24 "rubbish" gifts for the first 24 days of December, ranging from garden gnomes and garish ties, to a rubber chicken or a hole punch.

Visitors can click on the calendar doors to find out what particular charities could achieve if the money were donated to them.

"For example, the £5 spent on a hole punch could be used to supply 80 litres of purified water overseas," said Gould.

Giving Campaign director Philip Mind said: "At Christmas, we support charity very generously and twice as much is donated compared with other months in the year. But the bottom line is that we could be doing a lot more.

"If all the money was donated to charity using Gift Aid, it could mean an extra £180m for good causes," Mind added.

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