Debate: Is it realistic to ask people to donate at least 1.5 per cent of their income?

John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, called on donors to give a bigger share of their earnings.

John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation

ROWENA LEWIS

"Any effort to encourage more giving should be celebrated"Rowena Lewis

We cannot afford to shy away from any debate that encourages people to think about their giving and whether they could give more - particularly right now, when charities need the public's support more than ever. Yes, how much each person gives is a personal choice. But all too often we respond to the ask and fail to be proactive in our giving. Being proactive means asking yourself "how much can I afford?" and choosing who to support. Any effort to encourage more giving should be celebrated, not denigrated.

Rowena Lewis, 2010 Clore Social Fellow and former lead on the Philanthropy Review

PAUL AMADI

"Less well-off earners are already giving more than 1 per cent"Paul Amadi

Yes, I think it is. It is widely recognised that the further down the income scale people are, the bigger the proportion of their income they give to charity. The latest research by the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations confirms this. So if relatively less well-off earners are already giving more than 1 per cent of their income to charity, 1.5 per cent seems a realistic figure to aim for, with high net-worth individuals giving more. The trick for all of us, of course, is to make giving easier and not to be afraid to ask.

Paul Amadi, director of fundraising, NSPCC

NICK ALDRIDGE

"Giving shouldn't be presented as a burdensome sacrifice"Nick Aldridge

People need to understand that if they make a small sacrifice in their giving, they can reap huge rewards - giving isn't a zero-sum game. For example, on eBay we find that sellers who give to charity also generate more sales. On a more personal level, the connections you can make by getting involved in causes expand your horizons and improve your wellbeing. Giving shouldn't be presented as a burdensome sacrifice, but as an easy way to participate in important and meaningful work. The challenge is to reach busy people with short attention spans, and to inspire them.

Nick Aldridge, chief executive, MissionFish UK

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