Donors increasingly like giving methods that don’t require long-term commitment, a survey commissioned by The Pennies Foundation has found. Respondents have resoundingly confirmed that not having to commit to regular donations, the ability to give small sums at the time of their choosing and to make a spontaneous decision are key factors that  encourage them to donate to charity.

The survey showed that the opportunity to donate on an ‘ad hoc’ personal basis would have a positive impact on overall charitable giving, with almost three quarters (%) of all adults saying this would encourage them to donate to charity (up from 69% in 2009), while the financial flexibility of giving pennies rather than pounds would also have a positive effect on charitable giving, with 73% of respondents saying this would encourage them to donate to charity (a rise from 66% in 2009).

The current economic climate has affected how many Britons donate to charity since the economic downturn. The good news is that 96.5% of the nation do give to charity, with just 3.5% saying they do not. But, whilst 53% of the nation say they have not changed how much they give to charity, more than one in three (35%) say that they now give less as a result of the economic downturn (compared to just 8% of the nation who now give more).

The bad news is that almost one in twenty Britons (4%) say that they have stopped giving completely as a result of the downturn (peaking at 8% among 35-44 year olds).

Also, The Pennies Foundation learnt that the traditional charity boxes on shop counters are becoming less visible, and consequently donations through this method less frequent.

More than 9 out of 10 UK adults do donate small change at least occasionally but, compared to a few years ago, the regularity of making this type of donations has waned. A significant 27% of UK adults say they donate less frequently using charity boxes at retail stores compared to 4% who say they donate more frequently, demonstrating a strong net decline.

One in five adults (21%) say they rarely see a charity box at retail stores; in fact, charity boxes are becoming less visible amongst much of the population:

    • 41% say they see charity boxes less frequently than they used to
    • 30% say they barely notice them at all
    • 28% have seen no real change
    • A modest one in ten see more boxes than they used to

These figures suggest that while donating physical pennies at the till is routine for much of the nation, the opportunity is in decline.

Pennies’ electronic charity box meets the need for a more up-to-date giving method that fits in with the faster-paced lifestyle and payments method that we all have become accustomed to. Pennies offers donors the chance to drop their ‘electronic’ pennies into the virtual charity box when they pay for their goods by card, and provides an opportunity to feel good about giving as and when the donor is inclined to do so.

(1,513 UK adults were surveyed online by independent market research company markettiers4dc in October 2010).


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