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Scots more generous than UK as a whole says first annual CAF Scotland Giving report

Scots more generous than UK as a whole says first annual CAF Scotland Giving report

People in are more generous than the UK as whole, with a greater percentage donating money and goods, volunteering, and sponsoring others than the UK population overall, according to a new report.

CAF’s first annual CAF Scotland Giving report is based on a monthly tracking survey by YouGov and is being launched this evening (5 October) at a reception at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth. It shows that more Scots donated money to charity in the past year than people across the UK (65% vs. 61%), to have volunteered their time (19% vs. 17%), donated goods to charity (58% vs. 56%), and sponsored a friend or colleague (40% vs. 37%). Medical research was the most popular cause, followed by animal welfare, children and young people and disaster relief, and more than half had also signed a petition.

Overall, the survey found people living in Scotland donated £813 million to charity in 2016. This represents 8.4% of the £9.7 billion donated to charity across the UK with Scotland accounting for 8.2% of the population, according to CAF.

Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“However you look at it, Scotland performs incredibly well and this shows the amazing culture of giving we have here in Scotland, of which we should all be very proud. What is particularly encouraging is the level of 16-24 year olds who are engaged in charitable activity in Scotland – this bodes well for the future.

”We believe this report is the first of its kind, and we hope it will help build the amazing vibrant culture of charities in Scotland and help them expand the excellent work which supports so many people across the country.”

The report also shows that young people in Scotland are more engaged with charity than the UK as a whole: 94% of 16-24 year olds reported they had done some form of charitable activity in the preceding year, significantly higher than the UK average which stands at 89%.


IoF research reveals Scots’ motivations for giving

Research on Scotland for the Institute of Fundraising, again by YouGov and conducted earlier this year, also showed Scottish people to be more generous than the rest of the UK. It revealed that 68% of people in Scotland had made a donation or bought something from a charity within the three months 
prior to being surveyed, compared to 61% of the UK population.

The IoF’s research looked at Scottish donors’ motivations for giving and their experience of donating, revealing that for three in five people in Scotland (64%) the main reason for donating in the three months prior to the survey was because it was a cause they believed in. 41% also thought supporting charities was a good thing to do and 23% said they did so because the charity had helped someone they know.

Two thirds (66%) of those in Scotland who had given to charity in the last three months said they were prompted to make their donation in some way. This included 10% who were asked by someone they know, and 6% who gave for a collection at a memorial/funeral, while 2% received a mailing through the post, 1% responded to a national TV charity event, and 1% received an e-mail or text asking for a donation. 27% said they had made a spontaneous decision without being prompted, while 57% of respondents said they would have made the same donation regardless. However, 31% said that they would not have donated at all without being prompted, and a further 11% said that they would have donated a smaller amount.


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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