Holly Branson & Virgin Money Giving Make a Difference

Holly Branson

The Independent has launched a new campaign, in association with Virgin Money Giving, to Make a Difference. Read on as Holly Branson, Patron of Virgin Money Giving, introduces the campaign below...

During a really difficult financial time, you could forgive the lack of enthusiasm for launching a campaign to encourage people to donate to charity. But actually, its a more important time than ever to support charities while things are so uncertain for everyone. Good causes can transform communities and improve peoples lives in so many ways more than anything, they offer people hope.

The British public have given 9.3bn (CAF) between 2011/12 in charitable donations. 2012 has seen a 20% drop and the public have given 1.7bn less to charity than they did in 2011.


The good news is, against the trends online giving is on the up. At Virgin Money Giving weve seen a 26% increase in online donations during the same time and our research shows that this trend is set to continue. Over four million people have used online and mobile giving services in the past year and better still, in the next 12 months this is expected to grow by a further 20%.


So it may be that traditional donations are declining and not everyone is giving as much as they used to but those who are able arent losing their compassion and generosity theyre just moving with the times and finding new ways of giving.


Interestingly, our research also showed that sport, culture and animal charities have seen the biggest increase in online donations. As always, medical research, hospitals, hospices, children and young people still attract the highest proportion of donations.


Since Virgin Money Giving was formed in 2009 we have helped to raise almost 150 million for charities on a not-for-profit basis, which just shows the fantastic potential online giving has to offer.


Online giving makes applying for Gift Aid really simple for donors. Our stats show that 90% of online Virgin Money giving donations come with Gift Aid while offline, only 39% come with Gift Aid. This, in combination with Virgin Money Givings low fee structure and not-for-profit model, has enabled an additional 4.8 million to reach charities a massive boost.


As well as being Patron of Virgin Money Giving I am also closely involved with the work of Virgin Unite, the not-for-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. Virgin Unite aims to unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to drive business forward as a force for good. I believe this kind of work can make a real difference in the world and with their additional support, the charitable sector can overcome the tough challenges it faces.


Campaigns such as Make a Difference, the increased use of online giving platforms and more partnerships and collaborations between charities and businesses will only help to build the momentum that is needed to support the charitable causes we hold dear to our hearts.

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