Clarke aims for a 'culture of giving'

Home Secretary Charles Clarke yesterday committed up to £9m over the next two years to promote a culture of giving in England.

One of the main projects will be the development of 'School Charity Accounts' that will be available to every secondary school in England.

The Charities Aid Foundation will administer the accounts and, starting with a grant of £500, students will be encouraged to run their own 'real-life' charities, raising funds and deciding how to distribute the money to recognised charitable causes.

Part of the £9m will also go towards a partnership with the Institute of Fundraising to help charities make better use of existing tax-efficient fundraising schemes such as Gift Aid.

An extension of the Giving Nation curriculum programme to primary schools is also planned.

The projects were outlined in A Generous Society, a report launched by Clarke at yesterday's Funding the Future conference.

Charities minister Paul Goggins, who will take the initiative forward, said: "The decision to donate is a private one. But we are determined to do all we can to make it as easy as possible for those who want to contribute.

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