The number of people in the UK regularly giving to charity has declined for the third year in a row, while trust also fell in 2018 according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s latest UK Giving report, released today (7 May).
UK Giving 2019 found that the proportion of the British public who are either giving money to charity directly or are sponsoring a friend or family member dropped to 65% in 2018 from 69% in 2016. The report also shows that trust in charities has decreased since 2016, with 48% of people saying they believe charities to be trustworthy, down from 51%.
Fewer people also said they had been approached to donate money than in previous years, across a variety of channel including on the street, door to door and particularly direct mail, which fell from 28% in 2016 to 23% in 2018.
However, although fewer people reported giving money, those who do are giving higher amounts, with the overall household amount given in 2018 comparable to 2017 at £10.1 billion. Children/young people and animal welfare jointly led the list of the causes people said they donated to in 2018, with 26% of people saying they gave to each of those causes in the past month.
The number of people who said they had taken part in a charitable activity or social action, such as signing a petition, buying an ethical product, or taking part in a public demonstration or protest, in the past four weeks also fell for the third year running from a peak of 68% in 2016 to 64%.
Despite the decline in participation in charitable or social action however, rates of volunteering have remained stable, as have the rates of people donating goods to a charitable cause such as a charity shop.
“With three years’ worth of data, we can now see a clear trend in people’s charitable giving and it is headed in a worrying direction. When it comes to trust, fewer than half of those surveyed (48%) said they believed charities to be trustworthy. A further 21% of people said they do not believe charities are trustworthy, an increase from 19% in both 2016 and 2017.
“If people lack trust, that means they worry that their hard-earned money is not being well spent when donated to charities. This is a challenge that the entire charity sector needs to tackle head on and find ways to inspire people to give and demonstrate to them that their money is making a difference.”
The report’s findings are based on monthly interviews and include a yearly total of more than 12,000 individual interviews. The report covers data collected over three years (2016, 2017 and 2018).
Responses to the findings
Key findings: 1) Fewer ppl giving money, but those who do give are giving higher amounts. 2) Overall, total given to charity in 2018 remains the same as 2017 at £10.1 billion. Not surprising if ppl not being asked to give on the street or door to door. https://t.co/ONQiIFKewj
— Rachel Rank (@rachelerank) May 7, 2019
Are fewer people supporting charities? And is it because people dont trust us? New from me on the @ncvo blog following today's @cafonline story and coverage in today’s papers. https://t.co/954RGy0PN0 pic.twitter.com/s8Mug7080k
— Karl Wilding (@karlwilding) May 7, 2019
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