David Blunkett, Home Secretary in the last Labour government, will chair a new inquiry into charitable giving, the Charities Aid Foundation has announced.
Blunkett, the MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, will be joined by Andrew Percy, the Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, and the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tyler.
The inquiry will have three main strands: Growing Up Giving, which will look at young people; Giving At Work, which will deal with working adults; and Going On Giving, which will focus on retired people.
It will examine topics such as lifetime giving and will examine ways in which to harness young people’s natural enthusiasm to help others through fundraising and volunteering.
The inquiry will also look at how a stronger culture of giving can be created and how the long-term decline in giving between generations can be reversed – this was referred to in CAF’s report Mind The Gap, published in September 2012.
Mind the Gap said that giving had been declining among younger generations, with people in their 30s and 40s less likely to give than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations. It found that the proportion of all money given to charity by people in their 30s had halved in the previous 40 years.
Blunkett’s group will take evidence from key figures from the charity, education and business sectors, and will report in early 2014.
CAF, which provides financial services for charities, also commissioned a ComRes survey of 500 nine to 11-year-olds and 500 16 to 18-year-olds before the launch of the inquiry.
This found that 34 per cent of children aged between nine and 11 preferred to support charities that help children and 21 per cent preferred to support animal causes.
However, 32 per cent of 16-year-olds supported medical charities and only 17 per cent supported animal charities – a finding that echoed trends among adults, CAF said.
The survey found that children between nine and 11 donated an average of £1.99 a month to charity – accounting for almost £20m of giving a year.
"Learning how to support causes that are important to society is a crucial part of growing up for everyone," said Blunkett. "Young people are crying out for advice and a framework through which they can be helped to help others, either in fundraising or in giving of their time."