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CAF report reveals increase in households using charities

CAF report reveals increase in households using charities

Almost every household in the UK has used a charitable service in the past two years, according to the Charities Aid Foundation.

CAF’s latest research shows that 98% of households have used charities in this time. Young people and young families are the most likely groups to have used them over the previous year, while there has also been a surge in the number of single parents regularly using them.

 

The most common ways UK households have used charities are:

–         buying from charity shops (88%)

–         visiting a charity-run gallery, museum, garden or stately house (73%)

–         visiting a church or religious institution of charitable status (51%)

–         getting advice from a charity or information from a charity website (51%)

–         attended a university (48%)

–         attended a community, youth or voluntary group (such as the Scouts, Girl Guides or Age Concern), or attended an event hosted by them (47%)

The number of households using a charity at least once a week has increased by more than 500,000 since 2014, currently standing at 3.7m with single parent households the most frequent users. 31% of this group use a charity at least once a week, compared to 14% of the UK population overall.

Biggest users

Young families have seen the biggest increase in their use of charities since 2014: 88% said they have used a charitable service in the last year, up from 78% two years ago. They have also used more types of services (on average 3.99 in the last year) than any other household group. Over the past year they are also the most likely household type to have received advice or information, medical care or housing support, including buying or renting a home through a charity.

18-24 year-olds are the most likely age group to have used a charitable service, with 88% using one in the last year. They have also used more types of charities than any other age group (on average 3.75 in the last year) and are now also the most likely group to have ever received medical care (18%) or counselling (33%) from a charity, watched or participated in a charity-run theatre production, event or arts-related programme (36%), or attended a community, youth or voluntary group (45%).

People aged 35-44 are the least likely group to use a charitable service in the past 12 months with 77% saying they had done so.

In terms of overall usage, women are more likely to use charitable services than men, with 54% having done so in the last month, compared to 44% of men. This mirrors the findings from when CAF last carried out the research in 2014.

More key findings

 

–         98% of households report having ever used a charity service (up from 93% in 2014) while 83% of households have used a charity service in the last 12 months (up from 79% in 2014) and 53% of households have used a charity service in the last month (on a par with the 51% in the 2014 survey);

–         Among single parent households, those who use charities at least monthly has risen from 29% in 2014 to 53% in 2016;

–         Young family households have used the most types of charities averaging 6.95. This compares to the lowest average of 5.44 for older single-adult households and a national average of 6.07;

–         In the last year, young families are the most likely household type to have received advice or information from a charity website (24% vs. 17% overall), received medical care (11% vs. 7% overall), or bought or rented through a charitable Housing Association (7% vs. 3% overall);

–         Age-wise, young people are the most likely to have personally used a charity service in the last month (60% vs 50% overall) or in the last year (88% vs. 80% overall);

–         Single parent households are the most likely household type to report the most regular use of charities, with 53% using at least monthly (vs. 34% overall) and 31% using at least once a week (vs. 14% overall);

–         More women used charities in the last year than men (86% women vs. 75% men).

John Low, Chief Executive at the said:

“Nearly every household in the UK has now used a charity at some point which shows their vital and varied role in society. But charities are also increasingly serving the basic needs of a community. We are now seeing growing numbers of young people, young families and single parent families counting on charities for ongoing support, whether this is online advice or more sophisticated care services.”

The findings, based on a survey of 2,054 UK-based adults by Populus, are from Charity Street 2, which updates CAF’s first report, Charity Street, published in 2014. The full Charity Street 2 report will be published by CAF in June.

 

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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