Northern Ireland people are expected to donate up to 22% less to charities next year due to the credit crunch, according to a new poll.
The drop — the biggest in the UK — contributes to a nationwide decline of £655m from the £9.5b donated last year by individuals.
The figures were released as part of new YouGov research, commissioned by the Each One Counts campaign. The campaign is calling on consumers and charities to use recycling to make up 20% of the shortfalls in cash donations from people in Northern Ireland.
The YouGov research shows a massive lack of consumer knowledge about charity recycling schemes. Currently 63% of the Northern Irish public do not recycle their mobile phones — the least number in the UK. However 86% of respondents in Northern Ireland who do not recycle them said that they would do so if it would help a charity, highlighting a problem of awareness and not a problem of generosity.
Although 51% of people in Northern Ireland plan to cut eating out in restaurants, the findings also revealed that slightly more people intend to cut charitable giving than cut spending on gambling and health clubs, giving a troubling insight for charities into consumers’ priorities.
The research also predicted some interesting behaviour trends during the economic downturn.
Amy Horn, Manager of the Each One Counts campaign, said: “We also discovered that people will be less likely to donate clothes or household items to charity during the credit crunch, presumably because these items hold their value in this economic climate and cannot be replaced as easily.
“So it’s all the more important that every possible mobile phone and used inkjet cartridge that can be recycled is donated to a charity,” he said.