Statistics from Charities Aid Foundation show that 3.8 million fewer people gave to charity during November, normally the peak month for donations with events including BBC Children in Need and the Poppy Appeal taking place.
36% of individuals donated or sponsored someone for charity last month, down from 43% in a typical November pre-pandemic.
According to CAF’s latest UK Giving research which tracks household donor behaviour, over the last six months, around one in ten decided not to make a one-off donation to charity because of the cost-of-living squeeze, and 5% said they had recently reduced or cancelled a regular donation. One in five (19%) are considering cutting back on their donations to cover their household bills.
At the same time, separate CAF research found a third of charities (33%) have seen demand for their services increase significantly compared to last year.
However, the cost-of-living crisis means nearly half (47%) of people say they are more aware of those in need in their local community. And, amongst people who donated in the last year, nearly one in five (19%) are more likely to donate to charity this Christmas as a direct result of the cost-of-living crisis, with two in five (42%) saying they are especially likely to donate to tackle homelessness or food poverty as part of their Christmas giving.
Neil Heslop OBE, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“People cutting back on their donations during the Christmas period is understandable but it’s a concern for the many charities that rely on festive fundraising, especially following two years of cancelled charitable events and appeals.
“Charities know more than most the pressures people are feeling as they try to provide for their families during this incredibly challenging time. But if you can afford it, now is the time to give to causes supporting the most vulnerable in our society. There are also other ways to help, such as through volunteering or donating goods.”