Fundraising: Four-fifths of public say giving is 'very important'

Four out of five people (82 per cent) believe it is "very important" to give money to charities, and 85 per cent think it important to give goods, according to new research from Business in the Community.

The Business of Giving, BitC's first survey of its kind, questioned more than 1,000 adults in Britain last September to gauge public opinion on how people should support charities.

The research found that people with lower incomes think it is more important to give time and goods to charities rather than just money. These groups favour more traditional methods of giving such as shop collection points and cause-related marketing.

People with higher personal incomes favour more modern methods such as text and online donations.

However, low-income groups tend to be more sceptical than the general population about how charities use donations.

The survey found that 86 per cent of the public claim to have supported a charity or cause in the past 12 months, through donating money, time, skills or gifts. Of these, nearly half (42 per cent) have supported a charity or cause on a monthly basis and 19 per cent have responded to an appeal such as the tsunami appeal.

People aged between 45 and 54 are the most likely to have supported a charity or cause over the past 12 months; 16 to 24-year-olds are the least likely.

The results also reveal gender differences. Women are more likely to have raised funds or given goods to a charity or cause in their own time, or made a face-to-face donation. Men are more likely to have supported a charity or cause through payroll giving, text or online donations.

However, two-thirds of the public don't believe they should be asked to give to good causes because they see this as the responsibility of government, suggesting that it is important for charities to demonstrate additionality in their service provision. And one-fifth do not agree with supporting charities because they are suspicious about their work.

Julia Cleverdon, chief executive of BitC, said: "This is an encouraging result for charities. However, it does signal that more work needs to be done by charities to communicate how public funds are being used if they are to retain public trust."

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