UK Card Association reports increase in donations

This is a really interesting piece from the BBC website showing that donations to charities on debit and credit cards have increased year on year. The piece is nicelt balanced highlighting that areas charities have struggled with is legacies as well as an increase in demand for services, no mention of corporate donations. But I think its certainly worth reading.

Source BBC News

The latest figures from the UK Cards Association suggests the public’s appetite for giving to charities has not diminished during the downturn.

The trade association for the cards industry said that in the first four months of 2009, the value of donations on debit cards was up 24% on the same period the previous year. Credit card donations were up 11% over the same timescale.

This followed an 18% rise in donations on plastic cards in 2008 – up from £1.01bn in 2007 to £1.19bn in 2008.

“These card figures tell us an interesting story. Despite the economic downturn, it seems there was no let-up last year in people’s commitment to charity,” says Sandra Quinn, of the UK Cards Association.

The Charity Commission figures show the annual income of the 166,807 main charities reached £51.16bn by the end of June 2009. This was up from £48.4bn at the end of 2008 when there were more charities – 168,354.

With the figures having risen steadily over the previous years, the position still looks rosy for charities.

But these statistics do not tell the full story.

Various aspects of charitable giving have been hit in recent months. With the value of homes and shares having fallen sharply, the amount received in wills has been cut.

A recent report by a think tank, the Smith Institute, concluded that there might be a loss in the value of legacies of between £150m and £200m in 2009.

Low interest rates have also meant that charities’ own savings and investments had not performed as well as they might have expected. Some were caught up in the saga with the Icelandic banks.

An economic survey of 1,000 charities in England and Wales in February discovered that 52% of those asked said they had been affected by the financial downturn. Some 58% suggested that they suffered a drop in income.

“Clearly the impact of the financial downturn on charities is widening and deepening. Some charities still face that double whammy of a drop in income as well as an increased demand for services,” says Dame Suzi Leather, who chairs the Charity Commission.

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