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Charity cash goes begging as sponsors fail to pay up

16 February 2011

Only two out of five fundraisers always collect all money pledged, Virgin Money Giving research shows

Just two out of five charity fundraisers* always collect all of the money pledged for good causes by their sponsors, new research from Virgin Money Giving shows.

The study shows that an average of £25 goes uncollected by fundraisers for each event they undertake, putting a substantial dent in the amount of money getting through to charities.

Sponsors are not necessarily unwilling to pay up but fundraisers struggle to collect money as they too often rely on collection forms and can run out of time when it comes to gathering the cash in, Virgin Money Giving believes.

It is urging fundraisers and charities to use online giving services, as they ensure that when sponsors donate that money goes straight to the fundraiser and quickly onto the charity, as well as enabling Gift Aid to be added.

By contrast fundraisers using paper forms and relying on IOUs will not always collect all the money owed, Virgin Money Giving’s research shows.

The UK Giving 2010 report from the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations shows £10.6 billion was donated by individuals in 2009/10, with 56% of adults in UK households giving to charity**.

Virgin Money Giving’s research shows 52% of fundraisers sometimes fail to collect all the cash that has been pledged, while 8% say they always fail to collect some of the money owed.

Jo Barnett, executive director at Virgin Money Giving, said: “Fundraisers work hard to support charities and their efforts should be fully rewarded by being able to collect all the money pledged.

“People remain very generous despite the financial pressures, but it is clear that not all the money being pledged is always collected and that is a pity for fundraisers and more importantly for charities which need to maximise their income.

“Online giving services can help fundraisers ensure they collect pledges and also maximise the donations by adding Gift Aid which is worth another 28% in tax relief.”

The Government’s Giving Green Paper issued in December highlighted the potential of online giving as a way to boost charitable giving - currently just 7% of donors give online compared with 58% who shop online.

Analysis of donations through Virgin Money Giving shows the average donation rose to £34.93 in January. This compares to £31.64 in October and £31.24 in June.

Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit online fundraising website from banking group Virgin Money, has achieved 87% uptake of Gift Aid through its service which raised more than £25 million for good causes in its first year.

For every £10 donated on Virgin Money Giving, £12.47 makes its way to charity assuming Gift Aid donors are UK taxpayers. Its own not-for-profit model and 2% fee to cover costs means it was able to channel £1 million more to charities during its first year than if the cash had been donated through other online donation services. Virgin Money Giving processes all Gift Aid amounts at no cost to the donor or charity.

Virgin Money Giving has over 2,400 charities registered and 65,000 fundraisers taking part in a range of activities, from the Virgin London Marathon to a team of fundraisers driving a fire engine across the globe.

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Notes to Editors

* Consumer Intelligence surveyed 2,087 adults aged 18+ through an online methodology between 13 and 24 January 2011.
** Charities Aid Foundation UK Giving 2000-2010.

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 £12.47.
  • 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.’