The wealthiest people in the UK continue to give less to charity as a percentage of their income than those less well off, according to analysis in the soon to be published ‘UK Giving 2011’ research produced by NCVO and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). On average, those earning under £32,000 give over 1% of their income to charity, while those on over £52,000 give just 0.8%.
As a result, John Low, Chief Executive of CAF, has called for the wealthiest members of society to take a lead in increasing giving by pledging to give at least 1.5% of their income to charity.
This is the percentage quoted in 2004 at the end of the three-year government-funded The Giving Campaign. The campaign organisers concluded that the average percentage of income that individuals give to charity should increase from 0.7% to 1.5%, with the wealthiest giving at the top of that range. Seven years on, not all of them clouded by recession, the wealthiest have on average stuck to the lower end of that scale.
Furthermore, The Giving Campaign also recommended that by 2014 donations should have doubled in real terms. NCVO and CAF estimate that since 2004 the total amount given to charity in real terms has only increased by 15.2%.
John Low announced his call yesterday at a House of Lords reception to mark the end of the Giving Forum. He said: “We should continue to strive towards the aspirations of the Giving Campaign and call for people to give at least 1.5% of their income to charity every year, with the percentage rising for those with greater wealth.
He spoke on the same day as the launch of Legacy10, a campaign to persuade the public and particularly those likely to pay Inheritance Tax to leave 10% of their estate to charity.
Low added: “Today’s Legacy 10 launch is a great start, with high profile people publicly talking about their giving. We would like to see a wide-spread Giving (while living) pledge led by those in positions of influence; with the wealthy encouraging each other in the way that Gates and Buffet and others have shown can work so well.
“We want to see Ministers loudly championing and celebrating philanthropy and sending a strong message through their own giving, where business and charity leaders follow suit and where everyone across the UK can play their part.”
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