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UK Giving report reveals men & young adults least involved in charitable giving

UK Giving report reveals men & young adults least involved in charitable giving

Men are lagging behind women in charitable giving, with less than half volunteering, donating or sponsoring, according to Charities Aid Foundation’s annual UK Giving report.

Three out of five women (60%) got involved in some form of charitable behaviour in a typical month in 2015, compared with 52% of men.

In terms of age group, young adults are the least motivated by good causes, and are the least involved in supporting good causes with less than half doing so in a typical month (43%). People of pensionable age were nearly twice as likely to have given money to charity, with 44% of over 65s having done so in the past month, compared with 23% of people aged 16 to 24.

The most popular way for people in the UK to support a charity was by donating money – done by two in five of us (39%) in a typical month – followed by donating goods (20%) and sponsoring someone (9%).

The report estimates that Britons donated a total of £9.6 billion to charity in 2015, suggesting that overall levels of giving may have fallen in the past year.

Other findings include:

  • Four in five people in the UK (79%) got involved in at least one form of charitable action in 2015. London and the West Midlands are the only regions where less than three-quarters participated.
  • Children’s charities were the most widely supported (30%), followed by medical research (29%) and animals (22%).
  • £14 is the median average charitable donation and cash is still the most common way for people to give, accounting for 55% of donations. Those most likely to donate are women, middle or upper middle class and aged over 45. Less than half of young people aged 16 – 24 (48%) donated to charity last year.
  • Almost half of Britons have donated goods in the past year (46%) with one in five (20%) doing so in a typical month. Women are almost twice as likely to do this as men (26% v 14% in a typical month).
  • One in seven people (13%) volunteered for a charity in 2015. Young people are the most likely to give their time for free, with 19% of 16-to-24 year olds having done so, while one in ten (11%) people aged 65 or over volunteered for a charity.
  • One in three (32%) sponsored someone for charity in 2015. Women are more likely to be sponsors but give smaller amounts (£11.38) than men (£15.13) on average. People give most to sponsored events for hospitals and hospices, which attract an average sponsorship of £34.

CAF chief executive John Low said:

“Charities need to work harder to motivate men to back good causes and, importantly in the long-term, find new and better ways to get people involved in charitable giving at every age. Sporting fundraisers and appeals like Movember have gone some way towards getting more men and young people giving, but it is clear that more still needs to be done.”

The survey collected information about charitable giving from 4,160 adults aged 16 and over in the United Kingdom. However, CAF has also announced that from this month, it will treble the sample size to 12,000 and carry out research on a monthly rather than quarterly basis in order to gain a more accurate picture of charitable giving throughout the year.

You can download CAF’s UK Giving Report 2015 in PDF.


UK Giving Report in 60 seconds



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

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