A quarter of charities cannot take digital donations, CAF poll finds

A survey of almost 400 charities finds that 23 per cent of them do not have the facility to receive any kind of digital donation

Almost a quarter of charities cannot take digital donations, new research shows, meaning it will be harder for them to adapt to the more cash-free environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

A survey of almost 400 charities, carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation last week, found that whereas 63 per cent of respondents said their charity could accept digital donations, 23 per cent said they did not have the facility to receive any kind of digital donation.

The remaining 14 per cent said the question did not apply to their charity. 

CAF said other research had shown that, within days of lockdown being imposed in late March, the use of cash in the UK fell by 50 per cent as consumers turned to contactless payments in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus. 

The survey also found that one in five charities said they were concerned that if people were carrying less cash charities would have less income.

Twelve per cent of respondents said they could not afford to purchase new technology. 

Susan Pinkney, head of research at CAF, said the results were worrying because many charities had seen cash donations disappear overnight. 

“Some have been able to adopt new technology such as digital charity collection tins, but the nature of this crisis means that they are unlikely to alleviate the problem because so few people are out on our high streets at the moment,” she said.  

“It is very good news that some charities are seeing this as a chance to move to digital donations, but we worry about those charities being left behind at a time when their services are in such demand.”

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