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Generous Britons keep on giving despite economic squeeze

29 July 2010

Virgin Money Giving launches Charity Donations Index

Average charity donations are recovering as fundraisers and donors remain committed to backing good causes despite the current economic squeeze, new research from Virgin Money Giving shows.

Analysis of donations through the not-for-profit online fundraising site shows the average amount given rose to £31.24 in June compared with £30.59 in April and £29.29 in May 2010.

Its research shows average donations - before Gift Aid which adds 28% to money given by eligible UK taxpayers - peaked at Christmas before gradually declining from the £35.69 in December to a low in May.

However June showed a recovery in average donations compared with April -when the Virgin London Marathon meant a surge in donations across the site - and May. Average donations were 6.6% up in June compared with May.

Jo Barnett, executive director of Virgin Money Giving said: “The current state of the economy means something’s got to give but so far charity giving is holding up well. People remain generous despite impending tax rises and threats of rising unemployment and public sector cutbacks.

“However average donations are under strain as people struggle to make ends meet and it is vital that fundraisers, charities and donors boost their giving power by making full use of Gift Aid and efficient fundraising.”

Virgin Money Giving figures show that while over £5 million was donated in April through virginmoneygiving.com, during the lead up to the Virgin London Marathon, around £1.5 million was donated to non-marathon related fundraising causes.

Donors using the site can instantly add Gift Aid to the money they are giving - Virgin Money Giving currently sees 86% of all donations submitted claiming Gift Aid which is more than double the average 40%* for all donations such as collections and through sponsorship forms.

The not-for-profit fundraising service, which charges 2% for donations compared with an industry average of 5% in order to ensure as much money goes to good causes as possible, has launched its Charity Donations Index to help fundraisers and charities monitor how well-off – or badly off – donors feel they are.

It will update every three months giving an up-to-date snapshot of the state of giving across the UK highlighting issues of concern to charities and fundraisers.

Virgin Money Giving currently has more than 1,800 charities registered on the site from a standing start in October with more than 29,000 fundraisers using the site to raise a total of over £15 million.

virginmoneygiving.com, which is free for fundraisers, charges a flat £100 + VAT registration fee for charities and a 2% fee on all donations before Gift Aid which means for every £10 donation, charities will receive £12.46.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

*UK Giving 2009 study from the Charities Aid Foundation and NCVO.

For further information

Grant Bather
Virgin Money
Tel: 07834 844 427

Kevan Reilly / Chris Jarvis
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 638 9571

About Virgin Money Giving:

  • Virgin Money Giving is the not-for-profit online fundraising arm of Virgin Money and was established in 2009. Virgin Money uses its infrastructure and expertise as a financial services business to ensure that Virgin Money Giving is efficient, secure and offers a high quality service to all fundraisers, charities and donors.
  • Virginmoneygiving.com, which is backed by hundreds of major charities, officially opened to all fundraisers for all charity events on 14 October 2009 and estimates it will deliver an extra £5 million on top of every £100 million raised for charities.
  • Virginmoneygiving.com is free for fundraisers, charges a flat £100 + VAT registration fee for charities and a 2% fee on all donations before Gift Aid which means for every £10 raised, charities receive £12.46.
  • Virgin Money Giving charges charities the minimum fees needed to cover the running costs of the site. Any money left over after covering operating costs will go towards reducing fees further or improving services for fundraisers and charities.
  • Fundraisers can personalise their pages, send out email alerts and manage the different events they might be taking part in. They can include their own content, photos and links to their page as well as customise messages for their supporters. Fundraisers can also link their page to social networking sites.
  • Virginmoneygiving.com is the official sponsorship website of the Virgin London Marathon, Royal Parks Half Marathon and ‘Run to the Beat’.