'Worrying' drop in donations ahead

Survey shows one third of people intend to reduce the amount they give

More than a third of people will give less money to charity in 2009 than they did in 2008, a poll of 1,000 people has shown.

Thirty-five per cent of respondents to a survey for shopping website An Olive Branch, which sells high street goods and donates 3 per cent of the price to one of 12 chosen charities, said they would donate less to charity overall next year. Just 3 per cent of respondents said they would give more.

The poll – carried out by marketing agency Pure Profile, which pays registered members to take part in surveys – also showed that children's charities would be the most popular cause this Christmas. From a choice of four causes, 45 per cent of people said they would choose to give to a children's charity, 33 per cent to a homelessness cause, 15 per cent to an animal cause and 7 per cent to a cause relating to disabled people.

The survey also showed that 61 per cent of women donated regularly, compared with 54 per cent of men.

Nathan Branch, founder of An Olive Branch, said the results were "worrying" for charities.

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