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Donations in Scotland rose to more than £1bn in 2017

Donations in Scotland rose to more than £1bn in 2017

People across Scotland gave an estimated £1.2 billion to charity in 2017, according to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF): up from 2016’s estimated £813 million.

Now in its second year CAF’s Scotland Giving Report found that Scotland accounts for 11.8% of all UK charitable donations, but represents 8.4% of the UK’s population.

However, the increase in money donated was driven by the same number of people giving more, with the average (mean) donation amount increasing from £36 in 2016 to £60 in 2017. CAF found no increase in the number of people giving money to charity year-on-year.

The report also found that the most popular causes supported by those in Scotland were children and young people, with 28% of those surveyed saying they had donated to this cause. This was followed by medical research (27%) and animal welfare (25%).

In addition, two-thirds (66%) of people took part in a charitable or social activity, such as volunteering for a charity, donating money or goods, or buying an ethical product. More than half (56%) of those interviewed said they had signed a petition in the previous 12 months, while 27% had done so over the previous four weeks. This reflects a pattern across the UK as a whole, and suggests that rapid political change has encouraged people to become more involved in causes and issues.

The 2018 Report is based on YouGov monthly polling of people in Scotland between January and December of 2017, with an overall sample size of 1,061 adults.

Sir John Low, Chief Executive of Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“It’s great to see the total amount donated increasing across Scotland. Activism is also on the rise, perhaps reflecting the turbulent times in which we live. This paints a picture of a thriving, vibrant society of which we should all be proud.

“It’s easy to take the work of our charities for granted – indeed CAF’s research over many years shows that millions of people benefit from their work without even realising it. But this report shows how much people value good causes. Without the support of these generous donors, we would all be so much the poorer.”


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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