The UK public donated £9.7 billion to charities last year, according to CAF’s latest UK Giving report, with 61% of people giving money to good causes.
November was the most popular month for giving in 2016, with 41% of people donating during the course of the month compared to an annual average of 33%. According to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), the increase can be attributed to the month’s big campaigns, which included Children in Need, the Poppy Appeal, and Movember. The annual CAF UK Giving Report also shows December to have higher than average giving levels, with CAF attributing this to #GivingTuesday and the DEC Yemen Appeal as well as the expected Christmas campaigns.
According to the report, people claimed that they were most commonly asked to donate to charity on the street (38%), followed by via direct mail (28%) and television (27%).
Regular giving vs ad hoc donations
Regular giving appears to have declined slightly according to the report’s figures, which shows that 25% give monthly, a fall from 2015’s figure of 31%. At the same time, those giving on an ad hoc basis increased from 41% to 51%.
The average monthly donation was £18 last year while the mean donation was £40. More than half of people (58%) still choose to give cash, while 26% donated using online channels, and just over half (52%) used Gift Aid on their donations.
The most popular causes last year were:
- Medical research. 26% gave to this cause in 2016
- Animal welfare at 25% of people
- Children and young people, which received donations from 24%
Brexit had no discernable effect on giving levels, according to CAF although there was a significant increase in the number of people saying they had taken part in a protest or signed a petition. Numbers who had signed a petition in the past four weeks peaked at 35% in July, following the EU referendum.
Volunteering and campaigning have also both increased since the exit vote:
- Almost 9 in 10 people (89%) did something charitable last year, a 10% increase on 2015’s 79%
- More than half of the population donated money (61%)
- 56% gave goods to charity
- One in six (17%) volunteered.
Women were more charitable than men last year, with just 8% saying they had not participated in any charitable activity during the year, compared to 14% of men. And, while younger people are less likely to donate money than older people (54% of 16-24s vs. 68% of 65+) they are more likely to volunteer, sign a petition or take part in a public demonstration or protest.
This year, CAF included questions on trust for the first time, revealing that 50% considered charities to have been trustworthy across 2016. Demographically, the report reveals that women (51% vs. 48% of men), young people aged 16-24 (58% vs. 47% of 65+) and those of social grades AB (58% vs. 43% of DEs) are signi cantly more likely to have trust in charities across the year.
John Low, chief executive of CAF commented on the findings, saying:
“While huge change was taking place all around us last year, one thing which remained consistent was the reliable and enduring generosity of people in the UK in their support of good causes.
“Our research shows that there has been no ‘Brexit-effect’ on charitable donations so far, but there has been a noticeable increase in people engaging in social and political issues. Numbers of people who said they signed a petition or took part in a protest or demonstration last year are the highest recorded in more than a decade of us producing this report.
“We know that people increasingly feel they want to make a difference and many see charities as a way to achieve that. Charities already play an integral role in the lives of so many. At this critical time in our nation’s history, their importance is only likely to increase.”
Interviews for the survey were carried out by YouGov, with this year’s survey doubling the number of interviewees from 4,000 to 8,000. This is a result of a change of methodology, which saw 1,000 interviews conducted a month from May 2016. As a result, from next year the report will be based on 12,000 interviews per year.
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