Call to manage risks of cashless giving after 59% of Essex residents donated in 2023

Business / Thu 25th Apr 2024 at 03:39am

ANSVAR, an insurer specialising in the charity, not-for-profit, and faith sectors, is calling for charities and donors in Essex to manage the risks associated with cashless giving. The advice comes in response to findings from the Charities Aid Foundation, which highlighted significant shifts in donation trends, particularly towards online and cashless methods.

According to the Foundation’s 2024 annual UK Giving Report [1], British citizens contributed an estimated £13.9 billion to charitable causes in 2023, with an estimated 59% of Essex residents having donated during the year. [2] This total represents an increase from £12.7 billion in 2022. 

The typical donation remained at £20, demonstrating the continued generosity of the public. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the landscape of charitable giving, with a marked decline in cash donations. In 2019, 51% of donations were made in cash compared to 2021 when it dropped to 29%. In 2022, four in ten people who donated did so via direct debit. [3]

Martyn Fletcher, Deputy Managing Director at Ansvar, emphasised the importance of adapting to changing donation habits while managing associated risks. Martyn stated: 

“The shift towards cashless giving presents both opportunities and challenges for charities and donors alike. While it provides greater convenience and accessibility for donors, it does mean new challenges for charities in protecting against emerging risks.

“As cashless giving becomes increasingly prevalent, it is vital for charities to prioritise cybersecurity, implementing stringent protocols to safeguard data and donations.” 

In light of these developments, Ansvar recommends implementing robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard donor information and financial transactions. This includes regularly updating security protocols, investing in secure payment gateways, ensuring organisations have relevant insurance protection, and providing staff with cybersecurity training.

Additionally, Ansvar advises donors to exercise vigilance when contributing to charitable causes online, emphasising the importance of verifying the legitimacy of donation platforms and ensuring the confidentiality of personal and financial information.

While acknowledging the inherent risks, Ansvar underscores the numerous benefits of cashless giving, including the ability to make and receive instant donations and the expansion of fundraising channels. With options ranging from handheld card readers to QR codes and text-to-donate services, cashless giving offers convenience and flexibility for both charities and donors.

Martyn Fletcher added: 

“As the trend towards cashless giving continues to grow, it’s vital for charities and donors to work together to mitigate risks and maximise the impact of charitable contributions.” 

Charities and donors are encouraged to follow Ansvar’s guidance to ensure the safe and effective management of cashless donations.

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1 Comment for Call to manage risks of cashless giving after 59% of Essex residents donated in 2023:

2024-04-25 11:32:59

Charitable donations can reduce tax for higher rate taxpayers so paying cashless enables a record, both for calculating total donations and for showing the HMRC should they ever ask.

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