Giving to charity must be made easier, according to Thomas Hughes-Hallett, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Speaking at the launch last night of the report Family Foundations Giving Trends 2011, by the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy and the Pears Foundation, Hughes-Hallett said philanthropy needed to be made more straightforward.
"We need to reach out to the mass-affluent," he said. "Every bank should provide its customers with charity accounts. And payroll giving in this country is absurd. Giving needs to be made simpler."
Hughes-Hallett said he recently moved banks because the one he was with did not offer a charity giving account to all of its customers.
Cathy Pharoah, one of the report’s authors, told the launch that people she had interviewed for it said they found giving to charity difficult because of a lack of information. "They did not know where to go or what to do," she said. "That’s a very interesting finding for people working in the sector."
Pharoah said that philanthropy should be a more important issue in society. "We have to make sure the understanding of philanthropy is available through every route," she said. "We also need to look at tax incentives. I do think they have a role."
The report shows that giving by the top 100 family foundations fell by almost 9 per cent in 2009/10 compared with the previous year.