Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, has said that more needs to be done to expand the pool of people who donate to charity.
Speaking at a parliamentary reception to mark the launch of the report by the Growing Giving inquiry, organised by the Charities Aid Foundation, Hurd said there was a "heroic minority" of people who were responsible for most of the UK’s giving.
"Some of the most happy and fulfilled people that I have met are the givers," he said. "It is so important that we introduce more people to the joy of giving."
The report, published yesterday, says that despite the best efforts of charities and government, levels of charitable giving have remained relatively static over the past 10 years.
It makes a raft of suggestions for increasing levels of charitable giving, including a requirement for television channels to give a certain amount of airtime to good causes and the introduction of living legacies.
The report was the result of a parliamentary inquiry that was chaired by David Blunkett, the Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, Andrew Percy, the Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, and the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tyler of Enfield.