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First half of 2021 saw charity income & recruitment rise

Melanie May | 2 August 2021 | News

Wood for Trees State of the Sector report cover

The charity sector saw significant growth in income and recruitment in the first six months of this year, compared to the same period in 2020, according to a report.

The latest Wood for Trees State of the Sector Report states that charity income has risen by 7% over the last six months, with recruitment also up by around 58%, both largely driven by the increase in one-off donations seen since the start of the pandemic.

Regular giving also remained resilient – providing similar levels of income to the same period last year. Other forms of giving, such as community fundraising and gaming, were slightly down but stable.


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According to the Wood for Trees report, increased use of digital and a resurgence in direct mail have been the most successful channels for finding new recruits. Recruitment by digital means has risen by almost 40%, while recruitment from direct mail is currently three times higher than in the first half of 2020.

The report also points to a shift in supporter profiles, with new recruits tending to be younger and less affluent, particularly for community fundraising and gaming. In addition, the ways in which these new supporters choose to be contacted seems to be changing. Community fundraisers mostly opt for email whereas gamers tend to prefer SMS.

As a result of these increasing recruitment levels, the report shows that the total number of active supporters has also risen reaching 2.5% higher than what was seen at the start of the pandemic, with overall value also up.

Wood for Trees Managing Director, Jon Kelly, said:

“A six-month review of charity data, taken from our InsightHub benchmarking suite, shows promising results for the sector as overall income and supporter volumes continue to rise.


“However, we are yet to see the full impact of the changes seen in the ways of giving and types of supporters. This will require continuous monitoring to ensure charities can build from the positives and make the most of the opportunities presented to them.”

The report is available as a free download. The report is compiled from data collected from Wood for Trees’s InsightHub benchmarking reports, which collate raw CRM data from a range of charities across the sector.