PayPal study reveals insights into pandemic’s influence on giving & generosity this Christmas

Melanie May | 18 November 2021 | News

A man in a white shirt holding a credit card to pay for something on the laptop in front of him

With Christmas coming, PayPal’s Generosity and Giving 2021 study has revealed some insights into how people are feeling about the festive season, as well as how the pandemic has affected their generosity.

PayPal’s study of 2,000 people was conducted by OnePoll this month, and found that while a quarter say it feels like Christmas will be back to normal this year, more than half (57%) of Christmas hosts will only invite double vaccinated guests and 39% will demand guests take a Covid-19 test before they arrive.

A key worry this Christmas is that lockdown restrictions could prevent people from celebrating in-person (36%). Concerns related to the pandemic is prompting more than a third of people across the UK to do all their Christmas shopping online and a quarter said they will head into stores during quiet times to avoid crowds and Covid-19. Staying safe also means around a fifth will not give physical gifts, opting instead to transfer money or gift experiences instead.

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Looking at people’s generosity, the study also reveals that a third (34%) of the 2,000 people surveyed say that the pandemic has caused them to be more generous with their time and money, with the most popular causes being animal welfare, hospital and hospices, homelessness, and mental health care.

According to the study, people in the UK say they donate on average £103.41 a year to good causes, with men claiming to donate an average £33.52 more than women per year. 

Geographically, Scots give most with Aberdeen the most generous city in the UK. People there donate nearly twice the national average of £193.76 to charities and causes each year, followed by Edinburgh (£138.38) and Liverpool (£125.64).

However, overall only 31% of people actually consider themselves to be a generous person, with a quarter believing they could be more generous than they currently are. Holding people back are money worries, the cost of living, COVID-19 lockdown measures, and reservations about how the money they give is spent.

Polled on what makes a generous person, top of the list were taking time to talk to others, regular donations to charity, buying gifts for friends and family ‘just because’, giving up your seat on public transport, and giving your free time to charitable causes – although 60% said they never volunteer for a cause or charitable work. 

PayPal is encouraging people to give this Christmas through its Generosity Network and Generosity Network for charities. It made these available in the UK this September.

Vincent Belloc, PayPal UK Managing Director said:

“We launched the Generosity Network and Generosity Network for charities to make it easier for people to raise funds to help other people and support causes this Christmas and beyond. Through ‘Give At Checkout’, people can make micro donations of £1 when they do their Christmas shopping online with PayPal by selecting their favourite charity in their PayPal account online or via our mobile app.”