According to market intelligence providers Key Note’s new Charity Funding report, the percentage of the population making donations to charity has dropped considerably from 80% to 66% over the past two years.
A survey commissioned for the report shows that whilst in 2003, 80% of the adult population had given to charity in the previous 12 months, in 2005, this figure had dropped to 66%.
Key Note suggest that, if those who gave to the tsunami disaster appeals are discounted from the numbers of those giving to charity, the overall figure could be much lower.
Asking survey participants about their responses to the tsunami appeal Key Note found that 26% of the sample agreed that they had only given to the tsunami appeal this year. This 26% may well be included in the 66% who agreed that they had given to charity in the past six months.
The survey also revealed that the proportion of people making donations to television appeals has “more than halved” in the last two years, from 47% in 2003 to 22% in 2005. Younger respondents are more likely than most to make donations in response to television appeals, as are those in the AB social group.
On the other hand, respondents seem to be more confident that their money will reach the end cause. In 2003, 72% of respondents agreed that they would give more money to charity if they knew it reached the end cause. In 2005, this percentage has dropped to just 28%.
Key Note’s report recommends that charities focus on young people to address this drop in giving. “Whilst they [young people] do not respond to traditional methods of fundraising” suggest Key Note, “if a cause matches other lifestyle choices and their innate desire to somehow subvert established practices and anything that represents ‘authority’, their support can be overwhelming.”
Key Note sees the sector working more closely with government in terms of securing funding, and increasingly targeting the commercial sector to maintain the levels of funding they need.
Key Note based its report on material provided by the sector’s main umbrella organisations.
The Charity Funding Market Assessment 2005 can be bought for £799 from Key Note. It examines the different revenue streams open to the 167,000 charities operating in England and Wales, and looks in detail at how fundraising charities operate, as well as how trusts and foundations distribute their funds. It also examines the way in which private companies and corporations work with the sector, to their mutual benefit.
You can view the table of contents online.