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Charitable Giving In 2010 Set To Remain Strong...And Mostly Female

UK charity donors remain dedicated to their favourite causes, despite the economic downturn, according to figures from credit card company MBNA. These figures suggest how the trend will continue through 2010.
 
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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, January 18, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The value of charity
While spending in other areas dwindles, charitable giving has remained fairly constant. Respondents claim that they are continuing to donate to charity, with many giving frequently and only a tiny number withdrawing their support altogether.

- Nearly three-quarters of givers (74%), have kept their donations at the same level in 2009
- 5% have increased the amount of money they are willing to donate.
- 11% donate to charity once a week
- Over a half of respondents (56%) provide some sort of charity donation every month
- Over a third, 37%, donated at some point within 200
- 1% of the sample stopped donating entirely

Lindsey Quinn, a regular donor to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, has typical reasoning behind her actions: "a little bit, given often, adds up and in the recession I think that it is more important than ever to do what one can for charities."

An obvious interpretation of these findings is that the toughness of these times is precisely what makes many people even more determined to give. Even with a decreased amount of spare income, it is easy for people to see how this could be appreciated by those who have suffered even more during the difficult year.

'Happy'
The best credit card use is when giving to others and the overwhelming result of this giving is happiness. According to respondents, 60% cite 'happiness' as the emotional impact of their contributions. Other than 'happy', donors feel 'generous' (25%) and 'reflective' (25%), with only 7% feeling 'guilty'.

MBNA spokesperson, John Greaves, said: 'The findings make heartening reading for charities at the end of a difficult year. What is clear is that the majority of UK givers are deeply committed to the causes they support, feel happy when they give, and most importantly, are determined to continue their efforts."

Holiday spending
This dedication held up despite the ultimate test: Christmas. The majority of respondents gave the same, or more, by purchasing charity products or fund-raising in charitable activities.

- Over three quarters (79%) either kept their Christmas charitable spending the same, or increased it.
- Almost one fifth (17%) spent up to 25% of their Christmas budget on charity items. Over half (57%) spent up to 10% on charity items
- Over a third (38%) purchased Christmas items from a charity shop. 30% gave charity Christmas presents

Men vs. Women
The study suggests a noticeable difference in the ways men and women offer donations to charity. On the whole, women are more generous but are more influenced by guilt.

- 63% of women, but only 37% of men, gave to charity within the past three years.
- 45% of women felt they had less free money to give, with only 31% of men feeling the same way.
- 45% of women, and 33% of men, felt guilty if they halted giving.
- More women offer items for donation (73% vs. 52%) and buy charity endorsed products (54% vs. 36%).
- 55% of women are likely to volunteer, with 45% doing the same.
- Alternatively, 26%, of men refused to spend any money on charity over Christmas, as did 17% of women

Charity credit cards
The study also reveals the average donor's opinions on charity credit cards. MBNA's charity credit cards provide a way for UK givers to contribute to a specific charity alongside their regular purchases, at no extra cost. By using a charity credit card, the card issuer will usually pay a percentage of the purchase price to the associate charity.

A report from UK Cards Association in July 2009 showed that credit cards with a charitable component are a growing market, reaching GBP6.7 billion last year. With an average of .25% being contributed to charity, approximately GBP16.7 million has been raised for good causes through charity credit cards.

The major facts on charity cards gleaned for the study:
- 6% of respondents owned a charity credit card, compared to a total of 79% of all respondents that owned a credit card
- Only 27% saw charity cards as a free way to help important causes.
- 41% were not aware of the concept of a charity credit card, but 51% of the total sample found the idea appealing.

John Greaves supports this trend: "Our charity credit cards contribute a significant amount to the charities that they support on behalf of dedicated supporters. This includes contributions of over GBP10m to WWF, over GBP1.4m to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, over GBP1.5m to the National Trust and GBP1.5m to the British Heart Foundation.

"The results show givers see the value of a charity credit card, but that many are unclear of how they work in practice. We are using this insight to inform our communication with givers, in conjunction with the charities that we work with, to ensure they understand the extent of options available to show their enduring support."

Veena Bedi, a sales director from Manchester, had her own feelings on charity cards: "Although I have a number of other credit cards, my Breakthrough Breast Cancer credit card is the one I use most often. It is an easy way of giving to charity and I would much rather give in this way than have a cashback card and remember to give it to charity. I feel good knowing that as I spend, money is given to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

"I think that if a lot of people give "little and often", it will make a difference. In my last job, I used to give to charity direct from my wages and I often use charity bags as a good excuse to clear out clothes from my wardrobe. With a little thought, there really are so many easy ways to give to charity."

About the research
The survey was carried out for MBNA by SKOPOS in November 2009. More than 1000 GB adult - both male and female - were surveyed, all who have given to charity in the last three years.

About MBNA
About MBNA Europe Bank:
MBNA Europe Bank Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), is the recognised leader in affinity marketing. MBNA credit cards and related products and services are endorsed by more than 5000 organisations worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.mbna.co.uk.

For More Information About MBNA Contact:
Adam Stones
Cohn & Wolfe
Tel: 0207 331 5370
Mobile: 07971 250 741
e-mail: adam.stones@cohnwolfe.com

or

Joanna Swift
Cohn & Wolfe
Tel: 0207 331 5476
Mobile: 07811 200716
e-mail: joanna.swift@cohnwolfe.com

About Breakthrough Breast Cancer
Breakthrough Breast Cancer is a pioneering charity dedicated to saving lives and changing futures, through research, campaigning and education - removing the fear of breast cancer for good.



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