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Traditional payment methods like cash still more popular than digital, says Halifax Giving Monitor

Traditional payment methods like cash still more popular than digital, says Halifax Giving Monitor

Charity donors are much more likely to give via traditional payment methods than online or via text, according to research published in the annual Halifax Giving Monitor.

In the past year only 9% of donors have given by text and 13% online.

The research is based on internal customer data at Halifax and a consumer survey of over 2,000 respondents prepared on its behalf by Marketing Sciences.

The top methods of giving over the past year were:

• Cash: 66%

• Direct debit: 25%

• Justgiving/other online giving site: 13%

• Text donation: 9%

• By card directly to charity: 8%

• By card over the phone: 2%

• Payroll giving: 2%

• ATM giving: 1%

(Base: Charity donors i.e. all ever donating to charity (1767) = 88% of all consumers)

Customer data included

This is the first time that customer data has been included in the Halifax Giving Monitor. Looking just at that, 36.5% of customers have donated to charity by either direct debit, standing order, credit card or faster payment in the last year. This is an increase of 7.3% in the past year, amounting to £833 million. A total of 2.8 million Halifax customers made regular donations to charity by direct debit, working out as an average of £82 per donor.

People over 65 are the most likely to donate through their bank account, with two fifths (40%) of customers in that age range making a donation in this way.

Online payments increasing

Halifax notes that payments and donations via JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving increased by 12% over the previous year. However, they still make up just 6.7% of identifiable customer spend in the last year.

While payments through Just Giving, Virgin Money Giving and Paypal made up just 6.7% of identifiable customer spend in the last year, this is an increase of 12% on the previous year, when only 6% of identifiable spend was through these channels.

Nick Young, Head of Halifax Current Accounts said:

“With ever increasing numbers of our customers choosing the convenience of online and mobile banking, it is surprising that many are not embracing the digital age when it comes to charitable donations, despite being a very generous nation.”

Top charities

More Halifax customers donated to Cancer Research UK than any other charity, with over half a million making donations. The charity also received the larget total amount from customers, over £25 million.

Indeed, customers have remained consistent in their support: the top 10 charities they donated to have not changed since the previous year.

Top 10 charities supported: Halifax Giving Monitor 2015

The top charities in terms of customer donations (to the nearest 1,000) were:

• Cancer Research UK: 545k

• British Heart Foundation: 372k

• British Red Cross: 336k

• Oxfam: 323k

• NSPCC: 171k

• RSPB: 169k

• RSPCA: 149k

• Barnardo’s: 148k

• Save the Children: 135k

• Dogs Trust: 127k

The National Trust, which would otherwise top this list, is excluded because the researchers classified transaction as membership payments rather than donations.


Photo: Tip jar by Rob Hyron on

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 and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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