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Making you feel good by giving
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Making you feel good by giving

It never fails to amaze me the generosity of people.

Even in the hardest of times, there is always someone that can find a spare few quid to help out a good cause.

Giving, and collecting, is a lot easier these days. Rather than chasing people with a dog-eared sponsorship form, the arrival of sites like JustGiving have made handing over your donation much easier.

Last week, within seconds of hearing about the Manchester Evening News collection after the devastating fire at the Manchester Dogs Home I had given money over.

More than 160,000 other people from more than 40 countries had donated nearly £1.4m within four days of the blaze. At the height of the giving frenzy on Friday morning, the website was handling four donations every second.
Other huge fundraising initiatives recently have included the £5m raised through cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton, which is being handed out to numerous nationwide good causes today by the Teenage Cancer Trust, and we've seen the ice bucket challenge sweep the social media channels - in the US it has raised $100m for the ALS Association this summer and considerable sums for other charities across the globe. Here's my effort....

A recent article in The Independent gave some interesting stats. It said on average, 30 new charities are set up every day in England and Wales with just over 164,000 charities in this country currently. Almost half of them raise less than £10,000 a year. Three-quarters have an annual income of below £100,000. Only one per cent handle more than £5m annually.

And UK giving continues to increase, by £1.1bn in 2012-13. The average amount donated is up by £2 to £29 a month, almost back to pre-recession levels. Medical research overtook the 31,000 religious charities as our favourite cause. Then hospitals and hospices, children and young people. Aid agencies got twice as much from the public as animal charities. Interestingly, more than half the giving is in cash, with 31 per cent by direct debit.

Women give more than men and, intriguingly, the poor are more generous than the rich.

Of course you don't have to give money, you can give time. One million people are unpaid charity trustees. More than three million are registered volunteers. In 2012, volunteers gave £24bn worth of time – the equivalent of 1.5 per cent of GDP.

So what dictates who you support or devote your time to? Donors choose personal connections that relate to their own lives and experiences. Only 10 per cent of us give to charities for people with disabilities and only six per cent to old people. Animal charities get twice as many donations as those for the homeless.

Whatever the cause - above all it makes you feel good when you donate.

What's your choice going to be next time you decide to give to charity?