Online giving service JustGiving last year handled more than £27 million of donations made in memory of a loved one. This year, donations are already up by 32% from January to May compared to the same period last year.
Last year 90,000 in memory fundraising pages were set up on JustGiving, to honour a friend or relative who has died or to continue their fundraising efforts while they were alive.
Gift Aid from in memory donations ‘not maximised’
According to an ICM Research survey for JustGiving earlier this month, donating to charity is now the most popular method of paying tribute to someone who has died: 67% of British adults prefer to do this, rather than give flowers.
However, JustGiving argues that in memory income could be increased further because cash donations at funerals and memorial services often miss out on the benefit of Gift Aid. It estimates that up to £25 million is lost to charities each year as a result, so is inviting in memory fundraisers to make use of online tribute fund sites like its own to maximise Gift Aid income.
Online giving is now a popular response in the wake of widely publicised deaths. For example, people gave over £32,000 via JustGiving to Sam Harper-Brighouse for Arms Around the Child following his death running the Brighton Marathon.
The death of Margaret Thatcher led to a surge in donations to charities in her memory and to those who were affected by her government’s policies. JustGiving tracked £52,000 of donations related to her death.
Gemma Randall, Head of Charity Partnerships at JustGiving, comments: “The ability to raise fund for good causes in memory of a lost loved one isn’t a new idea, but it’s being made so much easier and more effective through the Internet.
“The result is a permanent online legacy that reflects the person’s passions and personality in life that can help friends and family make sense of their loss and become an uplifting way of keeping their memories alive.”
Photo: in memoriam on gravestone Mr Doomits on shutterstock.com
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