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Online donations via Virgin Money Giving increase by 26% to £67.4m

Online donations via Virgin Money Giving increase by 26% to £67.4m

Online donations through have increased by 26% during 2011/12, rising from £53.5 million to £67.4 million.

The average donation dropped by 4% but the total number of donations increased by 31%. All figures include Gift Aid, and the comparison period for each year is January to 11 November.

Virgin Money Giving has now handled nearly £150 million in donations since it launched in 2009.

Joanna Barnett, executive director at Virgin Money Giving, contrasted the figures with the recent CAF/NCVO study which reported that voluntary donations had dropped by 20% in a year, with the public giving £1.7 billion less to charity than the previous year.

"I am pleased to be able to announce an increase in online giving through VMG", she said, "when other forms of giving are under strain. Whilst overall giving is down, according to the authoritative CAF study, I believe online giving has so much potential to help close the donations gap and help charities continue with essential front line services."

Virgin Money Giving was achieving a Gift Aid conversion rate of 85%. Barnett said that this compared well to the 39% average for all giving reported by the CAF UK Giving Report.

Top sports

Virgin Money reports that running, and marathon running in particular, is still the most popular reason for setting up a fundraising page. This year however has seen a 33% increase in the number of donations to fundraisers undertaking cycling activities, perhaps inspired by British success in the Olympics and Tour de France.

Top causes

Health charities were the most popular types of charities in terms of total value of donations received at Virgin Money Giving, followed by children, social welfare, education, disability, international, elderly, homeless, human rights and the environment. Sport and cultural causes enjoyed the largest increase in donations during the year, followed by animals, religion and social welfare.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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