Web 'helps young to give more'

Helen Barrett

The number of young people giving to charity is growing, according to new figures from the Charities Aid Foundation and the NCVO.

The 2005/06 Survey of Individual Charitable Giving in the UK reveals that 28 per cent of 24 to 35-year-olds gave to charity - up 6 per cent on the previous year. Researchers said this might have been because more charities are using online donation systems, which are popular with young adults.

However, the survey also found that the proportion of the population that gave to charity remained static, and charities still failed to take full advantage of Gift Aid.

In 2005/06, 57.6 per cent of UK adults gave to charity in an average month, compared with 57.2 per cent in 2004/05. But individual donors gave more - £15.28 a month on average in 2005/06, compared with £14 the previous year. This took the annual total given by individuals to £8.9bn.

Donors in managerial and professional positions dominated giving, contributing 57 per cent of the overall total and donating an average of £24.27 a month.

However, high-income donors gave a smaller proportion of their income than average earners, donating 0.8 per cent of their income, compared with a national average of 1.2 per cent of income.

The research also found that charities made little headway in converting donors to tax-efficient giving. Researchers urged charities to work harder at ensuring donations are made tax-efficiently.

"A lot of gifts from high-level donors are made spontaneously by the non-taxpayer in a household, who is often failing to offset the money," said Cathy Pharoah, founder of the research company Third Sector Prospect, who led the study. "Charities should be targeting these people more."

Cash remained the most popular way of giving, but 22 per cent of the total money given in 2005/06 was made by direct debit, yielding the most income. Cash generated just 16 per cent. "This could be because charities are promoting direct debit heavily, particularly through face-to-face fundraising," said Pharoah.

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