More than 800 give their names to Back Britain's Charities campaign

Initiative by the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations is prompted by report that found donations to charity fell by 20 per cent

More than 800 organisations and individuals have backed a new campaign to support Britain’s charities, less than 24 hours after the scheme’s launch.

The Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations yesterday launched Back Britain’s Charities to urge people to support good causes through regular giving. The campaign had attracted 815 supporters by 10.30am this morning, including 403 organisations.

The campaign, aimed at government, members of the public and charities, comes in response to the two umbrella bodies' UK Giving 2012 report, which revealed that donations to charity fell by 20 per cent in 2011/12 to £9.3bn. It calls on the government to modernise and promote Gift Aid and payroll giving so donations go further, and urges it to ensure public bodies do not cut funding for charities disproportionately when making spending reductions.

A spokeswoman for the NCVO said there was no money being spent on Back Britain’s Charities, apart from purchasing the website domain name, and there would be no advertising campaign to support it. She said the organisation wanted to find and work with both business and voluntary sector partners in the future to share resources and increase the campaign’s impact.

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said it was too early to tell whether the findings of the UK Giving 2012 report were a trend but that it was "working hard to stimulate giving" through initiatives such as new tax incentives, committing £50,000 match-funding to encourage people to support local charities and a £100m transition fund. She said that Big Society Capital, with resources of £600m, offered charities access to affordable loans and investment.

"The government gives significant support through the tax system to encourage giving," she said. "More than £1bn went to charities last year through Gift Aid. We are also introducing a new Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, which will deliver an extra £100m a year to charities. We are making it easier for charities to claim Gift Aid, and will shortly bring forward proposals for the reform of payroll giving to encourage more people to give out of their salaries."

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