MPs keen to back 'spontaneous giving' initiative

An early day motion in support of a new spontaneous giving scheme that could raise £100m a year for charities has been signed by 130 MPs.

Pennies4Change, proposed by fundraising company Votiva, would ask shoppers to round up credit or debit card payments to the nearest pound. The overpayment would be sent to the retailer's charitable foundation.

The 130 signatories of the motion include former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, former Cabinet Office minister Hilary Armstrong and Tom Levitt, chair of the All-Party Group on the Community and Voluntary Sector.

David Dent, founder and chief executive of Votiva, said he was pleased by the unusually high level of support for the EDM. "This scheme will revolutionise charitable giving in the UK," he said. "Cross-party parliamentary support will raise the profile of Pennies4change and help us better engage the retail sector in its introduction."

Last month, third sector minister Phil Hope said he would help Votiva organise a meeting with major retailers (Third Sector Online, 7 April). Dent said the meeting would take the scheme a step closer, although it is not expected to be launched before next February. The £100m figure is based on an estimated take-up of 4 per cent of card transactions.

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