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British Muslims giving at a rate at least four times higher than the average, study suggests

A hand holds a card while the other types on a laptop keyboard, making a payment. By Kindel Media on pexels

The research by global consultancy Blue State surveyed 1,000+ British Muslims, as well as a nationally representative group of 2,000+ British people, which included 86 Muslims. It found that the average self-reported amount donated in a year by Muslims in Britain was £708, compared with £165 when compared to a nationally representative sample. 

According to the pillars of Islam, eligible Muslims must give Zakat ­– donations ­– equal to 2.5% of their qualifying wealth to charity every year. The survey found that 56% of British Muslims always pay their Zakat. However, even with this factored in, the average donation amount still outweighed the British average, and Muslims were more involved in charity in other ways too.

Charitable behaviours outside of giving money – such as volunteering and community involvement – were almost always more common among Muslims.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

British Muslims are also donating more despite being more than 2.5 times as likely to feel worried about the unemployment rate, or keeping/finding a job, than the UK average.

More key findings

The research took place in February.

Jasmine Miah, Senior Strategist at Blue State explained: 

“This research built on our yearly UK giving behaviours tracker from last year – when digging down into a national survey, we could see hints that British Muslims seemed to be the most generous group in British society. We knew we needed to go further, and with this comprehensive survey, with 3000 people surveyed in total, and more than 1000 of them British Muslims, we can finally confirm this finding.”

Lizi Zipser, its Executive Director, added:

“Over the past few years we have had more requests from fundraising clients for research and advice on how to authentically engage Muslim donors. Through these projects, we felt there was a gap in publicly available information that could help more charities understand this important group. It was important to us to represent and amplify the voices of Muslim donors and know not only where they can help charities, but where people feel charities are meeting their needs and expectations, and where they would like to see improvements.


“We see international aid charities doing a great job engaging Muslim donors, but not all secular organisations know who their donors are and what is meaningful to them from a religious or spiritual perspective. It is also important to know where religion plays a role in giving decisions, and where the cause and the work being done are a primary motivation to support the organisation, and a separate engagement strategy may not be needed or appropriate.


“Overall our findings validate that Muslim donors form a hugely important part of overall giving in the UK, and we would love more organisations to celebrate the contribution of this community, and think of how programmes nurture these relationships in a respectful and authentic way. This could be done through Ramadan when giving is at its highest, but ideally across the whole year to form genuine and long-lasting connections, and avoid the view of opportunistic fundraising.”