Public support for charities is growing while the younger generations could be the most generous this Christmas in terms of giving to charity, research by donations, fundraising and events platform Enthuse has found.
The second edition of Enthuse’s quarterly Donor Pulse report explores changing habits and attitudes to charities, fundraising and donating since the end of the first lockdown, and looks forward to Christmas and beyond.
It found that three quarters of Gen Z (74%) and Millennials (76%) are planning on donating to charity during this year’s Christmas period. They could also be the most generous donors over the period, with Millennials stating they’ll give as much as £68, and Gen Z planning to donate up to £59. This compares to an average of £51 for the public as a whole.
However, despite this, these age groups are also the least committed to giving, according to the research, with less than a third very committed to donating. In contrast, among the over 65s, 40% are very committed to giving with 65% in total are likely to donate.
The research also shows that since the end of the initial lockdown, more than two thirds of the public (69%) say they have made a donation. This is an increase on the 59% figure reported by Enthuse data for the first lockdown period. Just under half (47%) of donors have also given to multiple charities.
Public sentiment towards charities
There has also been a rise in public sentiment towards charities, according to Enthuse’s research. Over the last three months, nearly two fifths (37%) said they were feeling more positive towards charities and the work they do, up from 28% in the last quarter. This compared to just 5% who said they felt less positive about charities. However, the average amount per individual donation has dropped 9% compared to the same period last year (July-October).
Support for causes
The types of charity the public is donating to is shifting too. The last three months saw a spike in support for mental health charities up from 15% to 25% of the public donating. There were also rises in support for vulnerable groups. Support for children’s charities rose from 21% to 26% and organisations focused on helping older people saw an increase from 10% to 14% of the public donating to them. Animal charities also saw a rise from 29% to 34%, seeing it overtake the NHS and public health as the top sector.
Online donations by the public continued to rise, to 42% of donations from 37% during the first lockdown. One of the drivers of this was a rise in digital donations from 40-54 year olds.
A third of people however, cannot remember the name of the charity they last donated to online. Gen Z had the worst level of recall, with 42% unable to remember which charity they donated to.
The reasons behind the poor charity name recall fell into a few different areas. Firstly, just under a third stated they do things too quickly online to remember the charities’ name. Secondly, more than a third of people (34%) are only really interested in the cause, not the charity itself. Nearly half (46%) state that their poor brand recall is down to the branding of charities either not being distinctive enough from other charities or being overwhelmed by a giving platform’s brand.
Commenting on the research, Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Enthuse Founder and CEO, said:
“The most important statistic in this report is that 37% of the public are viewing charities more favourably than three months ago. The UK is seeing the sector’s heroic work first hand, and this is building trust and support. It is this that is leading to the amount of people looking to donate over the Christmas period, as the public increasingly understands the importance of the role charities will play in holding society together during this time. While the public is very willing to donate, charities need to be mindful of the issues of brand recall and donors opting out of communications.”
Enthuse surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,042 members of the UK public in October for the report, with additional data from its platform from July to October 2020 also included.