Charitable giving is on the up according to new research

Donations made by the UK public to charity rose by £400 million last year to a total of £10.6 billion, according to the latest research into charitable giving habits from NCVO, in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

Their report, UK Giving 2010, also found the number of people giving has risen to 56%, an increase of two per cent on the previous year. However, the total amount given has not yet returned to the pre-recession peak of 2007/8, when charities received £11.3 billion in charitable donations when adjusted for inflation.

Medical research continues to be the most popular cause to support both in terms of the number of donors (32%) and the total amount given (17% of all money donated), with children and young people’s charities taking second place (supported by 25% of donors). The survey also showed a surge in donations to overseas causes (24% of donors compared with 15% or 16% in the previous three years), which could be influenced by the well-supported Haiti earthquake appeal.

Cash is still the most common way to give, with half of all donors (50%) giving in this way. But growth in usage of the important Gift Aid scheme appears to be slow, with 40% of donors ticking the box compared to 39% last year.

Other key findings include:

  • The typical median amount given per donor has risen by £2 to £12 in 2009/10 (notable as it had remained steady at £10 for the previous five years)
  • Women aged 45-64 are the most likely group to give (68%), while young men aged 16-24 are the least likely (31%). More than three in every five women (61%) donated money to charity in 2009/10 compared with just over half of men (52%).

Commenting on the research, Sir Stuart Etherington, NCVO’s Chief Executive, said:

“This research is a welcome reminder of the British public’s generosity and willingness to dig deep to help those in need, even when they themselves may be under significant financial pressures.

“However, this is no time for complacency. Departmental spending cuts could amount to a significant shortfall in the sector’s earned income, meaning charitable giving becomes more vital than ever to help fill potential gaps in funding. The fact that the public don’t necessarily give to the areas of the sector that rely most on public sector funding presents a further challenge.

“In the unpredictable times ahead, charities will need to think carefully about who their donors are and how to encourage additional giving, particularly among high net worth individuals and groups that are currently underrepresented.”

Charities Aid Foundation Chief Executive John Low said:

“Many charities are having to cutback in the face of increased demand for their services and rising operating costs coupled with a huge reduction in government funding. The best thing taxpayers can do to support their favourite causes in these challenging times is to tick the Gift Aid box. If everybody did this then donations would return to pre-recession levels.”

You can download a copy of the pdf report for free here, and you can also download PowerPoint slides of the report here.

Categories: Charity Trends, General Fundraising, Individual Giving, Recession

Resource Type: Blog

Posted by Beccy Murrell

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