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Value of online donations to charity increase by 26%

22 November 2012

  • Virgin Money Giving (VMG) has seen a 26% increase in the value of online donations in 2011/12
  • The not-for-profit business has helped raise almost £150 million for charities since 2009
  • Sport, Culture & Animal charities see biggest increase in online donations this year

Online charitable donations through have increased by 26% in value during 2011/12, according to the not-for-profit organisation.

Total donations were up from £53.5m to £67.4m. While the average donation was down slightly by 4%, the number of actual donations increased by 31%.1

This is in contrast to the recent Charities Aid Foundation report, which showed donations down by 20% with the public giving £1.7bn less to charity than the previous year.

Joanna Barnett, executive director at Virgin Money Giving said: “I am pleased to be able to announce an increase in online giving through VMG when other forms of giving are under strain. Whilst overall giving is down, according to the authoritative CAF study, I believe online giving has so much potential to help close the donations gap and help charities continue with essential front line services.

Barnett added: “We support CAF’s campaign to ‘Back Britain's Charities’ and, alongside that, would implore people to go online to give. Gift Aid penetration at Virgin Money Giving is 85% which compares to 39% for all giving - a drop of 3% according to the CAF UK Giving Report - and gives a big boost to overall donations. Online giving is a highly effective and efficient way to give to good causes.”

For every £10 given through £12.15 goes to good causes assuming donors are eligible for Gift Aid.2

Virgin Money’s survey showed that running, and in particular marathon running, still tops the charts when it comes to fundraising activity, but it is clear that many people have caught the cycling bug as a result of British success in the Olympics and Tour de France. Cycling activities have seen a 33% increase in donations over the past 12 months.

The Olympic theme and influence is also borne out when looking at donations by charity type. Sport and Culture have seen the biggest increases in donations followed by Animals, Religion and Social Welfare. The biggest overall charity recipients by type on were Health, Children, Social Welfare, Education, Disability, International, Elderly, Homeless, Human Rights and the Environment in 2012.

A nationwide study from the not-for-profit business showed 4.13 million people have used online or mobile services in the past year and that is set to grow by 20% in the next year – equivalent to 5.9 million, the study found.3

- Ends -

For further information:

Virgin Money Press Office
Tel: 0191 279 4676 / 01603 215 909

Notes to editors:

1 All figures from, January to November 11th comparison of 2011 vs. 2012. Donations include Gift Aid.

2 For every £10 given through £12.15 goes to good causes assuming donors are eligible for Gift Aid. This is broken down as follows:

Your donation
Gift Aid
Transaction fee @2%
Card processing fee @1.45%
Total cost to charity
Total donation

3 Research conducted between September 10th and 14th 2012 by Vision Critical among 2,008 adults aged 18+ who regularly give to charity. UK Giving 2011 estimates that 29.5 million people are regularly charity donors.

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 those wanting to donate to charity online.
  • is free for fundraisers, charges a flat registration fee of £100 + VAT for charities and a 2% fee on all donations before Gift Aid, which means for every £10 raised charities receive £12.15. 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 fundraising pages, send out email alerts and manage their fundraising events. 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. Virgin Money Giving also contains fundraising ideas and tips, offering help and advice to fundraisers on how to raise more for charity.
  • is the official sponsorship website of the Virgin London Marathon, Royal Parks Half Marathon, Virgin Active London Triathlon and Nike Run to the Beat, as well as the Virgin Money Cyclone.