An overwhelming nine out of ten Brits are defying the recession by donating to charity according to new research.
People donating to a charity close to their heart are some of the most regular givers, with more than half of them (62 per cent) donating once a month or more often.
The average donation equates to £100 per year, with those giving after a windfall like a bonus or inheritance stumping up almost double that, at £180 each.
Despite the continuing pressures on household incomes, more people are planning to maintain or increase their charitable giving next year, compared to those planning to cut it*.
The most common incentive for donating is to sponsor a fundraising friend or relative, with 44 per cent of people saying they give in this way.
The second most popular method is making ad hoc donations in collection tins (34 per cent), followed by those who regularly support a favourite charity close to their heart (33 per cent) and supporters of seasonal appeals such as Red Nose Day (32 per cent).
Cash is the most common payment method for donations (six out of ten give notes and coins), although regular givers are more likely than others to favour the convenience of direct debits.
The research also found that new ways to donate such as third-party fundraising websites (15 per cent) and text message giving (six per cent) are becoming popular.
Just over half (57 per cent) of those surveyed were aware that Gift Aid allows charities to reclaim basic rate tax on donations they receive, but confusion over how this benefits charities remains.
Almost a quarter (22 per cent) admitted they don’t know how Gift Aid works at all, whilst others incorrectly thought that the Government would double any donations made, and that Gift Aid only applied to cash donations.
Research by the Charities Aid Foundation estimates that good causes are missing out on £700 million worth of Gift Aid each year.
PayYOURway.org.uk, which organised the survey has launched an online guide designed to help people find their best way to donate to charity.
From advice on Gift Aid to donating on the go and spreading your payments across different worthy causes, the guide can be found by clicking this link
The site has also recently launched a guide to online banking and a comprehensive glossary of payment terms.