Over-65s 'most generous' donors

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Oxfam shopRetired people are the most generous when it comes to supporting charities, according to new research.

The over-65s donate 0.7% of their income despite the fact many are not receiving a wage.

The "Bank of Grandad and Grandma" is known to be increasingly supporting families and grandchildren - and the research from Foresters, a mutual with more than one million members worldwide, found that retired people are also the most likely to support charities.

Over-65s have consistently given the most to charity since the Foresters Charitable Giving Index began collecting data from 2011.

People in that age group estimate they will have donated £142.53 to charity by the end of 2013, nearly twice as much as the average annual UK donation of £82.83 (0.3% of income).

They predict they will increase this amount to £147.86 next year, a rise of 3.7%. In contrast, the average UK yearly donation looks set to fall by 0.4%.

Donating money spontaneously when a cause appeals and giving items such as unwanted clothing to charity shops (both 56%) are the UK's preferred methods of supporting charities.

However, when it comes to giving money on a long-term basis, over-65s are more likely than any other age group to donate via direct debit (37% as opposed to the UK average of 21%).

Steve Dilworth, managing director of Member Network UK Foresters, said: "The Foresters Charitable Giving Index has consistently shown retirees to be the most generous generation when it comes to supporting charities. This comes despite the fact many pensioners are facing an increasingly uncertain future as annuity rates fall and the cost of living continues to rise.

"Getting involved in supporting charities can be a great way of keeping busy and making new friends, no matter what your age. Charitable work and helping those in our local communities runs to the very heart of Foresters' business and we are always thrilled to see so many of our members donating their free time to help others and improve their local area. We hope that in these uncertain times people of all ages can come together to help those who are less fortunate."

:: More than 1,100 people across the UK responded to an online survey in June and July.

© 2013 Press Association
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