Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC

Speaking up for you, standing up for Britain

12th January 2011


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If your New Year’s resolution was to give more to charity, then there was a timely Green Paper – Giving – published at the end of December. (A Green Paper is a discussion document, devised to help shape future Bills in Parliament.)

This is not just about the individual who donates money, but about different ways of giving, such as those who give their time – and the ways that big organisations can harness their strengths to bring about new ways of giving.

For instance, what would you feel about “rounding up” a payment by card in a shop or restaurant, so that the extra pennies are then given to a charity? It would be a small amount for each individual, but a significant amount when all were added together.

The aim of Giving is to “develop low-cost but highly effective ideas for large organisations to support charities”. That might be by encouraging employees to give to a chosen charity, by authorising regular payments through the payroll department. But it could also be by lending a conference room to a community group.

New technology could be another way of fostering the culture of charitable giving and of supporting community endeavours. For instance, a new “app” on the mobile phone – or an online “time bank”, so that people could trade time rather than goods, for their community projects.

As well as overcoming the obstacles to giving, technology could help create and sustain new social attitudes towards giving and helping others.

Some thoughts from Giving

About 58% of us shop online, but only 7% of donors give money online.

The average UK citizen spends close to 17 hours a week watching TV, but only one hour on voluntary work.

77% of business leaders say their enterprise could do more to boost strategic support for communities and 80% feel they could do more to involve other businesses in scaling up their support.

Why not give your ideas, this time, by taking a look at the ideas and making your comments to giving@cabinetoffice.x.gsi.gov.uk ? You have until 9 March 2011.

[Useful links: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/news/big-society-plan-new-culture-generosity]