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N Ireland leads the way in giving, says NICVA

N Ireland leads the way in giving, says NICVA

Nearly 70% of respondents in 2016 donated to charity over a four week period in , an increase of 11% on a similar survey in 2015.

The 2016 Individual Giving Survey undertaken by the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action () marked an increase in giving, with 68% of respondents reporting that they donated money to charity over a four week period which equates to an estimated 977,166 people aged 16+ years in Northern Ireland.

This marks an increase from 2015 when 57% stated that they donated money to charity, and is similar to 2011 levels (66%). At UK wide level 39% of people were reported to give money to charity in a typical month according to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

The survey found that a large proportion of respondents donated money to charity (89%) over the last 12 months. This marks an increase of 8 percentage points from 2015, and this figure is considerably higher than UK wide levels which stand at 62%.

These findings suggest that people in Northern Ireland are more likely to donate money to charity than other parts of the UK, and this is supported by CAF’s geographical analysis of giving.

Barriers to giving - chart in NICVA 2016 Individual Giving Survey

What is the main barrier to stop you giving to charity?

This analysis found that participation in eight charitable activities (for example donating money to charity, giving goods to charity, sponsoring someone for charity) was highest in ‘Ulster’ (89%). Other charitable regions included South West England (88%), Scotland (86%) and South East England (86%). 

Other research studies have also reported that Northern Ireland is the UK region most likely to give to charity. For example, one study conducted by Barclays titled the UK Wealth Prosperity Map, found that Northern Ireland is the UK’s most charitable region despite ranking sixth for prosperity.

Researchers from the CASS Business School at the University of London suggested high levels of giving in Northern Ireland are linked to high levels of church attendance which is considered to provide an impetus and framework for giving.


Charitable giving in Northern Ireland

Here is NICVA’s summary of its survey’s findings into charitable giving.

Summary of NICVA's Individual Giving Survey 2016




Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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