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Financial situation making it harder for many to donate, survey suggests

Melanie May | 23 June 2022 | News

A man's hands holds open an empty wallet. Image by Andrew Khoroshavin from Pixabay

As a result of the cost of living crisis, 58% of people say they are worse off financially than they were six months ago, according to research from Enthuse, with 55% of the public stating that their financial situation makes it harder to donate. 

The latest edition of the quarterly Donor Pulse report surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,008 members of the UK public. It examines the factors impacting the public’s finances and how this will affect people’s ability to give, as well as the obstacles to taking part in events. 

Key donation statistics

It found that just under one in five (17%) have stopped making donations, a further 61% are being more selective or giving smaller and fewer donations to charity – meaning a total of 78% of those who are struggling have reined in their giving.


Gift acceptance and due diligence course by Kerry Rock. Background image (filtered yellow) of one hand on the left with thumb down, and on the right a hand with a thumb up.

Despite this, 74% said they have donated in the past three months – the second highest figure since the start of the pandemic. 80% of under 40s have given in that time, with Gen Z the most generous at 82%. 71% of over 40s gave with Gen X giving the most in that group.

Cost of living crisis

The research shows that the rising cost of living is currently the main worry for the public with three quarters of those surveyed naming it as their main concern. While the economic picture has worsened for everyone in the last quarter, Gen Z is the only age group where those feeling worse off are not in the majority.  25% of Gen Z feel better off, and 28% feel about the same.

65% of Gen X and Baby Boomers state they are worse off, while 56% of over 65s say they have less disposable income ­– up from 39% three months ago.

And, in a reversal from three months ago, when 55% of people said Covid was their main concern, only 10% said that Covid was their biggest worry for 2022.

Reasons for feeling worse off financially

Commenting on the research, Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Enthuse Founder and CEO, said: 

“The data tells us the cost of living is already impacting the third sector, even with the impressive support for Ukraine. When money gets this tight for the public, that naturally means they are going to be looking for savings across their budgets and unfortunately that includes charities that are less likely to receive the same amount through donations. The saving grace for charities is that the public is still keen to support good causes.”


“The tightening of purse strings coincides with people feeling less physically fit and fundraisers feeling less confident in asking for money in tough times. As a result, charities would be well-advised to create content for supporters around building up fitness or creating fundraising events that cater to those who have been less active. Helpful guides or training on best practice for considerate fundraising could also help supporters feel more comfortable when asking for funds from others.”

Fundraising events

Questioning people on physical fundraising events, Enthuse found that nearly half of people see their fitness as an obstacle to taking part in physical fundraising events. The type of physical fundraising event that interests the most people is walking (50%) – ahead of running in second place at 19%, cycling (16%) and swimming (14%). 

The cost-of-living crisis is also having an impact here. While respondents said the price of registering for an event is not a major deterrent in deciding whether or not to take part in a fundraising event (only 14% feel this way), one in three say they are worried about asking for sponsorship from friends or family as they know money is tight. 

In total, 39% of potential participants have considered an event but not yet signed up to take part.