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Government pledges £1 million to support the vulnerable at Christmas

12 December 2011
CAB 244-11 

£1 million to support innovative Christmas charity appeals has been pledged by the Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd.
By making savings in administration costs and overheads, the Government now has the funds to support Christmas appeals and give extra money for the vulnerable at Christmas.

Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:

People up and down the country have always given generously to help children, the elderly and the homeless at Christmas.
“The Government is determined to do its bit too and that’s why we have worked hard to reduce administration costs and cut back on expensive advertising campaigns so that we can redistribute more money to those who need it. This Christmas we are pledging cash to innovative charity appeals so that we can help support the vulnerable over the festive period.

The money made from savings will be used to fund three giving initiatives this Christmas. The Government has chosen to support the following projects that offer ‘new’ models of giving and make it easier and more compelling for people to give: 

  • ITV’s Text Santa Campaign which aired last night with the Prime Minister pledging that if the public donate £250,000 the Government will match it with a further £250,000.
  • StreetSmart – restaurants offer customers the opportunity to add £1 to their bill in support of local charities that support homeless people. The Government will match up to £220,000.
  • - set up by ‘Secret Millionaire’ Marcel Speller. This organisation allows the public to find out about and make donations to small charities in their local community. Another £500,000 has been pledged by Government to match the funding raised by the public.

Ministers are keen to harness the generosity of people and make it even easier for them to give to charity. These Christmas initiatives are excellent examples of how we can encourage people to donate as part of their daily lives. By texting, adding a small amount to a restaurant bill or making it easier to find out which charities exist in local communities we can ensure that giving is made easy and accessible. 
It is clear that people are donating money – the latest monthly report by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) revealed that despite the difficult economic climate the number of people giving to charitable causes has gone up over the past year from 56% to 58% illustrating that the Big Society ethos is alive and well in the minds of the Great British public.

Notes to Editors

Other measures Government planned to encourage giving include:

  • removal of gift aid paperwork for donations up to £5,000;
  • moving to a new online filing system for gift aid claims;
  • a reduction in rate of inheritance tax for estates that leave 10% or more to charity; are estimated to be worth £600 million to charities over the life of the Parliament.

In the first ten months of this government, departments saved a total of £3.75bn through centrally led efficiency programmes.  These savings will play an important part in the Government’s objective to tackle the deficit whilst improving the effectiveness accountability, transparency and availability of choice in front line service delivery.

Find more details about giving here.

Access the NCVO/ CAF report on giving here.

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