More people dig deep for good causes but charities face uphill struggle

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More people are giving money to charity but the average donation has gone down, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that an additional 1.1 million people donated money to charity in the year to February, taking the total to some 29.5 million.

However, the average amount given per month fell from £12 in 2009-10 to £11, so the total value of donations, £11 billion, remained the same as the previous year.

Women aged 45-64 were the group most likely to give, while people aged 16-24 were the least likely.

The most popular charitable cause to support is medical research, to which more than 11 million people – 38 per cent of charity givers – donate on a monthly basis.

A quarter of those who give to charity donate to hospitals, while a similar proportion support children’s charities.

The ONS surveyed more than 3,000 people aged 16 and over on behalf of the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive ofthe NCVO, said: “This research is a timely reminder that even in straitened times, the British public are prepared to dig deep.

“However, charities will have to work extra hard to attract donors and keep pace with inflation at a time of economic challenges and increased demand for their services.”