- Monday, 06 August 2012
Pensioners have led to a huge rise in online donations to good causes - after developing their computer skills, research has shown.
Donations given through the Internet to religious groups has increased by 128 per cent over the last five years.
The amount given to culture and arts institutions has also trebled, research by website Justgiving has discovered.
A study of more than 2,000 adults found that over-60s were the most generous age group, giving three times as much online to religious organisations than in 2007.
During the same period, older people also made five times more donations via the Internet to culture and arts groups.
Experts are now urging churches to adapt to modern methods of receiving donations so they do not miss out on charity cash.
Retired bishop the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe said: "To keep up with their congregations, churches and faith groups need to catch up on modern methods of charitable giving beyond the plate and direct debit.
"People want the ability to respond immediately to need in a world which is increasingly cashless, which is why so many of them are now giving online."
The research found that the average amount of online donations each year was £135, while people aged between 55 and 64 gave £157 and the over-65s £182.
Anne-Marie Huby, managing director of JustGiving, said: "As the huge rise in online religious giving shows, digital giving is now reaching older and more traditional segments of the giving public.
"It shows the nation is wising up to the power of technology to make giving easier and more tax efficient."
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