Lottery 'good news' for charity giving

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The Independent Online
Donations to charities have risen despite the spread of lottery fever, a new report shows - and the authors predict charities will benefit overall from the National Lottery as grants roll in.

The study, Dimensions of the Voluntary Sector 1996, from the Charities Aid Foundation, examines the accounts of the top 500 charities and is believed to be the first to suggest the lottery is good news for charities.

While income from rents, investments and European Commission funding fell by up to 10 per cent, the report reveals that overall voluntary income - including covenants and gift days, legacies, fund-raising and donations - for the top 500 charities has risen by almost 2 per cent in real terms.

Vicki Pulman, a CAF spokeswoman, said: "There has been a lot of contradictory research . . . but the statistics from the Central Statistical Office shows giving has not been affected. While the picture is not glowing - there will always be some charities which don't get grants - it looks overall that charities will benefit."

A previous study by the CAF showed that voluntary income had risen by 3 per cent in 1992-93. Voluntary income includes tax effective giving, legacies, money raised through fundraising, corporate donations as well as individual giving.

Commenting on the report, Michael Brophy, CAF chief executive, said: "These figures show how many of the traditional sources of charitable income have, against the odds, managed to keep pace with inflation.

"The challenge now is to develop the new resources that the sector needs if it is to meet the increasing demands being placed on it."

The report reveals that legacies rose by pounds 37.3m - 2.1 per cent in real terms. But cash donations from the top 500 corporate donors rose by just pounds 1m - representing a 2 per cent decline in real terms.