Over a third of Brits have used the web to donate money to a charity, says 1&1 internet.

Research by the internet hosting company also revealed that 31 percent said the web was their preferred way to donate money, while two thirds of Brits said they were more likely to give to charity if online payments were available.

1&1 said that one in five Brits also use a charity's website to keep up-to-date on local causes, while 39 percent of Brits said a charity's website sways their decision on whether to make a donation or not.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 internet, said: "In today's economic climate, it is vital for non-profit organisations to realise the value of the internet for making connections and driving revenue. The public now prioritises charities that can inspire them with content and accept payments immediately online".

However, nearly half of all web users said they would be deterred from making a donation if a charity's website was slow to load, while 43 percent said an unprofessional looking website would stop them donating.

"Maintaining an effective website should be viewed as a mission-critical activity for charities. As the most preferred source of information used by donors, the standard of a website will directly impact a potential supporter's response. Charities that drag their feet on the web may in the long-term risk losing out financially to more technologically savvy organisations," Mauss added.

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See also: Credit card fraudsters targeting charities