Pensioners boost online donations
Technology-savvy pensioners have led a huge rise in online donations to good causes, new research suggests.
Web donations to religious groups have soared by 128% over the past five years, while online giving to culture and arts institutions has trebled, a study by the website Justgiving found.
A poll of more than 2,000 adults found over-60s were the most generous age group, donating three times as much online to religious organisations compared with five years ago.
Older people also made five times more donations via the internet to culture and arts groups over the same period.
Churches have now been urged to adapt to modern methods of giving charity to ensure they do not miss out on generous donations.
Retired bishop the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe said: "To keep up with their congregations, churches and faith groups need to catch up on modern methods of charitable giving beyond the plate and direct debit. People want the ability to respond immediately to need in a world which is increasingly cashless, which is why so many of them are now giving online."
The research conducted by ICM revealed the average amount of web donations each year was £135, while people aged 55 to 64 donated £157 and over-65s gave £182.
The increase in religious donations online was also boosted by the Islamic practice of Zakat - offering a compulsory proportion of a person's wealth to charity - which generated close to £1 million in 2010 and 2011, Justgiving said.
There was also a huge rise in donations to religious charities following the recent floods which devastated Pakistan, the company added.
Anne-Marie Huby, managing director of JustGiving, said: "As the huge rise in online religious giving shows, digital giving is now reaching older and more traditional segments of the giving public. It shows the nation is wising up to the power of technology to make giving easier and more tax efficient."