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Government report finds online giving growing

The government’s 2018/19 Community Life Survey reveals that traditional means of giving through collection tins is falling, while online donations are increasing.

The proportion of people giving to good causes online has increased over the last year while traditional means of donating such as through collection tins is less popular, according to official statistics.

The latest Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Community Life Survey, England report found that there had been an increase in the proportion of donations being made online, such as via a website, from 10% to 12% between 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Meanwhile, over the same period there had been a reduction in the percentage of those who give through collection tins (15% to 13%), buy raffle tickets (25% to 23%) and through face to face collections at places of worship (15% to 13%).

The report summarises the results of a survey of England adults, aged over 16, which ran from April 2018 to March 2019.

Of those giving to charitable causes, 28% gave to medical research, 26% to hospitals and hospices and 19% to animal welfare causes.

When asked what would encourage them to give to charities the most popular response was if they had more money, cited by 37% of respondents, while 28% stated it would be having confidence that their donation is being used effectively.

The survey findings are used by government for information on policy in a raft of areas across society.

Text use increases

The survey also looked at the way people interact socially. The proportion of those who use text or instant messaging at least once a week has risen from 76% to 81% between 2013/14 and 2018/19 and the percentage of those using email or writing letters as frequently has fallen from 40% to 36% over the same period.

People living in the least deprived areas are more likely to write or use email than those in poorer areas (41% compared to 30%).

The Community Life survey added: “When looking at ethnicity, Black people were less likely to meet up with family or friends in person than White or Asian people (62% compared with 75% and 72% respectively). Asian people were more likely to communicate via text/ instant messages than White people (86% compared with 81%).

“By type of area, those living in rural areas were more likely to write letters/email and less likely to meet up in person or exchange texts/instant messages than those living in urban areas.

In addition, volunteering rates have fallen to a six-year low. While in 2013/14 70% volunteered at least once a year, the proportion was just 62% in 2018/19.

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