More than eight out of 10 affluent donors believe that giving would significantly increase if charities showed more hard evidence of the effects of their work, research by the Charities Aid Foundation shows.
The report, Why We Give, published yesterday, is based on an online survey of 722 CAF banking customers who are in the top 10 per cent of account holders and give away thousands of pounds a year to charity.
CAF researchers also carried out in-depth interviews with six of the respondents, who were asked what influenced them to give, what could increase giving and how much of their wealth the affluent should give to charity.
Eighty-one per cent of respondents said more hard evidence on the effects of charities’ work would be likely to increase giving significantly.
"This underlines an appetite for a yet greater level of communication between donor and cause, and more transparency in the way charities work," the report says.
Seventy-eight per cent of respondents said companies doing more for charities would increase giving in the UK. And 77 per cent said they thought donations would increase if people were given a better understanding of tax incentives for charitable giving.
More generous tax reliefs should be introduced for charitable donations, according to 76 per cent of respondents – only 26 per cent of respondents thought the government was doing enough to help charities.
Sixty-one per cent of respondents said they believed the wealthy needed to talk about their giving more, and 49 per cent said they thought society was too cynical about those who gave.
Three-quarters of respondents said they gave because of a particular belief in a specific cause and 71 per cent said they were motivated by their faith.
John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: "The UK has one of the best environments in the world for giving to charity – but our research shows that more needs to be done to get the word out there about the amazing work charities do and the incentives available to donors.
"In this country, we need to be more open about giving in the public eye, with high-profile advocates ready to stand up and talk about the essential support they give to charities and inspire others to do the same."
To mark the launch of the report, CAF is collecting is views about why people give on the social networking site Pinterest.