Giving Green Paper neglects existing methods of giving, says Directory of Social Change

DSC's comments are among several that call on the Cabinet Office to make changes to its proposals on giving

Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office

The government should not ignore existing methods of charitable giving if it wants to increase levels of generosity, further responses to the Giving Green Paper claim.

The Cabinet Office closed its consultation on the paper this week, having received more than 450 responses.

In its response, the Directory of Social Change says the paper gives a lot of attention to new and technological ways of donating, but advises less on improving existing methods.

"The balance needs to be redressed in the final white paper and subsequent policy," it says.

It also points out that the paper offers no ideas on how the success of any new giving initiatives would be measured, which it says would need to be addressed.

It is also critical of the government's approach to charitable trusts and foundations, saying it demonstrates a "worrying lack of understanding about how these organisations work".

In particular, it notes problems with the idea of a 5 per cent minimum payout rule for these charitable trusts and foundations.

The government should also support a campaign to encourage all for-profit companies to donate at least 1 per cent of pre-tax profit to charity, it adds.

The Charity Finance Directors' Group response says the green paper doesn't bring many new ideas to the table

It says: "Some of the suggested solutions to encourage giving, outlined in the green paper, run the risk of being relatively low impact and add little to the range of resources and services already available. We would urge the government not to lose sight of existing resources and services."

As an example, it points out the potential impact that the impending abolition of cheques would have for many charities.

A response from the Charities Aid Foundation says it is not clear in the paper whether the priority is to get more people to become donors, or whether it is to get existing donors to give more.

"While both are desirable, they will require quite different approaches and actions," it says. "When the government sets out its strategy and plans within the white paper, it is important that the aims and objectives are clearly set out, together with the methods for measuring progress."

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