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Percentage of British Muslims expecting to give more next year rises despite financial concerns

Melanie May | 13 December 2023 | News

A man's hand holds a payment card as he uses a laptop. By Rupixen on Pixabay

Only 7% of British Muslims surveyed for a new report say they have no financial concerns but at the same time there is an increase in the percentage who expect to give more next year.

British Muslim Charitable Giving II: The Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis from Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) and produced in conjunction with NfPResearch follows the British Muslim Charitable Giving Report 2021-2022. It examines the impact of rising living costs through 2023 due to the cost-of-living crisis and how this has impacted donor’s attitudes and habits towards social action causes.

The research saw 1,092 British Muslims respondents aged 16+ surveyed and compares the responses against those of the wider British public. Only 7% of the sample say they do not have any financial concerns, while two thirds are worse-off than they were six months ago. Almost three quarters of the sample had relied on borrowing money to pay their bills during this period.


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However, respondents’ expectations for charitable giving next year is a net 8% higher than for the current year at 27%, whilst among the general public the expectation for next year drops by 12%. Just under a fifth of the Muslim sample expect to cut back their charitable giving.

Looking at donation motivators and methods, the research found a preference for donations to charities with a connection to Islam and/or Muslims. Other drivers to donate were personal connections (for example to a country overseas) and direct payments to those in need. Giving via collections and offerings at a mosque was the most popular method, with 60% of British Muslims having given this way in the past three months.

Donations were also not restricted to Ramadan. For the majority of the sample, less than 40% of their donations were given during the holy month and giving was not only defined by what was required by Zakat, with many giving above this.

Key findings on charitable giving

The Muslim-led charity sector comprises over 450 organisations across the UK working for social good both domestically and internationally, comprising over £700 million in annual fundraising income. Much of this income comes from the generosity of the Muslim community who are known to donate over £1billion to international and domestic causes each year, despite comprising a small percentage of the UK population.

The report also found that volunteering is widespread with 43% of its British Muslim sample having done so in the past year. Despite this, the cost-of-living crisis is having an overall net negative impact on the ability to volunteer, with a third of respondents saying that it has decreased how often they can make time to get involved.

Fadi Itani OBE, CEO of MCF commented:

“We are delighted to release our latest report, kindly supported by NfP Research. This report shows that although British Muslims and other minority groups remain one of the hardest-hit by rising living costs, their dedication to charitable causes remains firm. The insight from this report casts a spotlight on UK Muslims and how their giving has been impacted and will make useful reading to all those with an interest in the sector.”

The report says:

“The benefit of comparing the behaviours and preferences of a British Muslim sample against the wider public is that it allows us to benchmark this community within the wider context of the UK as a whole: this gives us valuable insights into how social challenges have been affecting the Muslim population specifically.