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U.S./world – U.K. charity grows – But donor base shrinks

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A new study says charitable giving in Britain grew to 5.76 billion pounds last year, or $8.36 billion, but nearly one in three Britons contributed nothing, the Independent reported Aug. 30.

The average monthly donation grew to 10.35 pounds, or more than $15, up from 9.76 pounds, or more than $14, a year earlier, says the study by the National Council for Voluntary Organizations.

While giving reached the highest level since 1993 in real terms, the share of Britons making donations fell from 80 percent as recently as 1994, the study says, reflecting a shift away from “spare-change” giving towards the type of planned giving popular in the U.S.

The Treasury is pushing a culture of planned giving and offering tax breaks to charities on donations made through company payrolls or direct debit payments, the Independent said,

“It is very encouraging to see such a recovery in the total amount donated to charity,” Stuart Etherington, the National Council’s chief executive, told the Independent.

Wealthy Britons give proportionately less to charity than do poor people, Karen Wright, a researcher at the London School of Economics, told the Independent.

One in four British professionals and managers made only spare-change donations, and another one in four gave nothing, she said.

Only 2 percent of Britons gave through their company payroll, compared to 34 percent of Americans, she said.

Peter Gilheany of The Giving Campaign, a group that encourages charitable giving, said the study shows that charities “are maturing their existing donors but there needs to be extra encouragement.”

For full story, go to the Independent.

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