JustGiving in-memory donations rise by a third to £15m so far this year

The website calls on people to move their in-memory fundraising online so charities can benefit from Gift Aid


Donations made through in-memory fundraising on JustGiving are up by almost a third compared with the same period last year. 

The online fundraising platform said there had been a recent surge in the number of people setting up pages after the deaths of loved ones. Donations in this form have totalled £15m so far this year – a 32 per cent increase on the same period in 2012.

In-memory donations through the site were £27m in 2012 and £20.8m in 2011.

About 90,000 fundraising pages are set up on the site each year in memory of loved ones or in continuation of people’s fundraising efforts while they were alive, JustGiving said.

Donations through a page set up by Claire Squires, who died while running the 2012 London Marathon to raise money for Samaritans, raised nearly £1m for the charity.

Research carried out by ICM on behalf of JustGiving, based on an online study of 2,000 UK adults earlier this month, found that 67 per cent of respondents preferred to donate to charity than to give flowers as a way to pay their respects at funerals.

The majority of in-memory giving takes place at funerals and memorial services, where cash donations cannot be Gift-Aided, JustGiving said. Based on the funeral directors market for giving being worth £100m, JustGiving said it estimated that £25m of Gift Aid went unclaimed each year because of these "real-world" donations.

JustGiving called on people who raise money in memory of someone to move their donations online so that charities could benefit from Gift Aid.

The fundraising platform typically levies a 5 per cent fee on donations including Gift Aid, which works out at 63p on a £10 donation that attracts £2.50 in Gift Aid. 

It has, however, waived its fees in high-profile cases such as those of Squires and Sam Harper Brighouse, who died last month aged 23 while running the Brighton Marathon for Arms Around the Child.

Gemma Randall, head of charity partnerships at JustGiving, said: "The ability to raise funds for good causes in memory of a lost loved one isn’t a new idea, but it’s being made so much easier and more effective through the internet.

"The result is a permanent online legacy that reflects the person’s passions and personality in life and can help friends and family make sense of their loss and become an uplifting way of keeping memories alive."

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