The UK is the 5th most charitable country in the world, according to Charities Aid Foundation's World Giving Index 2011 which has just been published, an improvement on 2010 when the UK was ranked 8th.

Of the Western and Southern European countries, the UK has the highest incidence of cash donations to charity, with 79% of those surveyed reporting that they had given money to charity in the month preceding the survey.

Commenting on the World Giving Index 2011, Gavin McEwan, Partner and Deputy Head of Turcan Connell's Charities Legal Team, said:"Philanthropic clients are still giving to charity despite the impact of the financial downturn, which shows the importance attached to charitable giving and the value attributed to the work of charities at home and abroad."

"Although people generally do not give in order to secure tax relief, the availability of tax incentives helps to encourage giving: new reliefs such as the reduced 36% rate of Inheritance Tax and tax relief on gifts of works of art and objects will be introduced in the spring 2012 Budget, further enhancing the incentives which exist and hopefully encouraging more generous giving to charity."

"New models of giving continue to be developed. There is increasing focus on social impact investment and methods of measuring impact and public benefit, which are all intended to demonstrate how far a charitable donation can go, and in some cases to generate a form of return for the donor. These and other sophisticated models are likely to continue to develop in 2012."

In the World Giving Index 2011, the UK ranks behind the USA, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in that order and is followed closely by the Netherlands and Canada.

If you would like further information on how to give to charity in a tax efficient way, or on new models of giving, contact your regular Turcan Connell adviser or a member of our Charities Team.