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Media criticism of charities prompts half of Gen Z to donate, data suggests

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Seeing charities criticised in the media motivates more than a quarter of the public to donate to them, with half of Generation Z saying they have done so as a result, new Enthuse data suggests.

Enthuse’s latest Donor Pulse report says that 27% of the public feel like donating when charities are criticised by the media – as has been seen in the case of RNLI following Nigel Farage’s criticism over migrant rescues in 2021 and more recently following the launch of a petition to remove its charitable status. A similar proportion (28%) have given because of positive coverage.

Enthuse surveyed 2,010 people, looking at what inspires the public to give to charity, the impact of the cost of living crisis on donations and fundraising, as well as the state of play for recurring donations for this report.


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Other motivations for giving

The top motivation for giving, it found, was giving in support of a friend, family member or colleague at 70%. This was followed by giving in solidarity at 28% and then inverse giving at 27%. Overall, giving in response to political events in the news – whether positive or negative – comes in at 41%. Social pressure also plays a part, with 27% giving to appear generous and 21% saying they felt pressured into donating. 

Cost of living crisis

54% of those surveyed said they feel worse off than six months ago, although this is down from 60% three months ago. Slightly more feel better off than last quarter, at 17%, up from 13%.

The number of people giving has remained broadly flat over the quarter at 70%. This is a 1 point percentage drop from the Spring. 73% of under 40s donated in the last quarter (75% for Gen Z) and 68% of over 40s.

Looking at household income, Enthuse suggests that a growing stability in giving is being seen in the majority of income groups, except for the highest earning households. 

Regular giving

Enthuse’s report shows that one in four (27%) people say they have given regularly to a charity. In terms of age breakdown, 31% of Gen Z and 30% of those aged 65 and over make a regular donation. When asked why people have cancelled regular donations, the biggest reason (29%) was due to feeling disconnected from the charity. 15% said it was because of banking or card issues.

28% of regular donors stated that they are keen to receive newsletters from charity for the latest updates. The idea of receiving small gifts or offers in exchange for regular giving was of interest to 1 in 5 (21%) overall, rising to 31% for Gen Z. 

Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Enthuse Founder and CEO, commented:

“The economy is challenging, particularly with the latest rise in interest rates, but donations are stabilising and intent to give over the next three months looks positive. The data suggests that the public is adapting to its economic circumstances and finding the money to generously donate to good causes is a part of that.”

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