Tough economy 'has hit donations'

Charity donationSeven in 10 people gave money to charity in the last year despite the continued squeeze on household finances.

But the tough economy has had an impact, with one third (32%) of those surveyed saying they give less now than they did a year ago, Halifax found.

Around 70% of those who have not donated in the last year said that they simply could not afford to do so.

Young people, aged between 18 and 24, were the most likely to cut back their spending in other areas of their lives such as nights out and takeaway meals in order to maintain their giving, the research found.
Giving cash to collectors was found to be the most popular way of giving, with the typical cash donation standing at £5. Those who donated by direct debit gave £10 on average.

Halifax said that Gift Aid has arguably had one of the greatest impacts on charity donations in recent years and now accounts for 93% of the total tax repaid to charities, compared with two-thirds (66%) in 2001/02.

Charity donations in the UK that have been subject to Gift Aid increased by 81% in real terms over the past decade to £4 billion in 2011/12.

The amount donated through payroll schemes has seen a 19% rise in real terms over the past decade, to £118 million by last year.

Anthony Warrington, director of current accounts, Halifax, said: "It's no secret that there is more pressure than ever on family finances but it is encouraging to see that people are not only trying to maintain the amount that they give to charity, but are also making the donations that they give work harder through schemes such as Gift Aid."

A range of research was used for the study, including official figures and research for the Charities Aid Foundation and Halifax.