Charity donations have picked up after a mid-1990s slump,
according to research by the Charities Aid Foundation and the
National Council for Voluntary Organisations out this week.
The Inland Revenue-funded research shows that £5.76 billion
was donated to charities last year – a return to 1993 levels.
Tax relief on charity donations, introduced last year, has
encouraged donors to give more generously, the report says. Changes
included the abolition of a £250 limit on Gift Aid giving and
a government commitment to adding 10 per cent to all payroll
donations until 2003. It is estimated that only 2 per cent of
employees use the payroll method, compared with 25 per cent in the
Barnardo’s head of supporter development Roger Keczkes said:
“Gift Aid has been huge for us and many other charities. Last year
we received £400,000 more revenue than the year before.”
A £1.3 million campaign entitled Giving was launched this
week to increase awareness of the new tax benefits and raise
£500 million over the next three years.
However, almost all of the extra money has come from existing
donors, with the percentage of new donors rising by less than 3 per
cent since 1997.
Attracting new donors is a struggle, according to Charities Aid
Foundation spokesperson Vicky Pulman. “Stories about charity fraud,
while not necessarily unfair, have made people jaded about
charitable giving. A commitment to transparency is needed to
encourage new donors.” She added: “Charities constantly have to
reinvent themselves and try and engage young people, whose interest
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