Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

Donors gave estimated £13.9bn last year – but fewer people giving

Donors gave an estimated £13.9 billion last year – up from 2022’s £12.7 billion, according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s (CAF) 20th annual UK Giving Report – but fewer people are donating.

CAF’s findings show that the £1.2 billion increase in the overall amount donated to charity was driven by some people giving larger amounts, rather than by more people giving. These larger donation amounts pushed the average monthly donation up to £65 in 2023 – approximately 40% higher than before the pandemic (£47 in 2019).

Fewer people giving regularly

Fewer people are regularly donating to charity compared to before the pandemic, according to the UK Giving Report. Nearly six in ten (58%) donated or sponsored in the past 12 months, compared to 65% in 2019 and 69% in 2016.


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

And, while the average (mean) donation was £65 last year, the typical (median) donation to charity has remained unchanged at £20 for seven years. However, a donation of £20 to charity in 2017 would need to increase to more than £25 for a charity to buy the same amount of goods and services in 2024.

CAF also found that while more was donated last year, £800mn less went to overseas and disaster relief causes.

‘Super Givers’ & ‘generosity hotspots’

Overall, 75% of adults have done at least one charitable activity in the last 12 months, and a core of around one million “Super Givers” supported charities in each of the five ways recorded: donating, giving goods, sponsoring, volunteering, and fundraising.

This year, for the first time, the UK Giving Report has also used statistical modelling by Electoral Calculus to reveal the country’s ‘generosity hotspots’. This shows that some of the least affluent areas in the country are among the most generous in supporting charities.

People in Belfast West for example give an average of 2.2% of their household income to good causes each year. This is more than four times higher than the new constituency boundary of Kensington and Bayswater, where people donate 0.5% of their household incomes – the lowest proportion in the whole country. The constituency of Sheffield Hallam is the most generous, where people donate 3.2% of their income to charity.

Compared to England, CAF found that areas in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are over-represented in the country’s most generous constituencies.

Commenting, Neil Heslop OBE, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“Britain is a generous country, and CAF’s UK Giving research shows how we can come together, to give more to causes that matter to us, even when times are tough. But it’s concerning that we’re relying on a dwindling group of regular givers, and the typical donation is static and eroded by inflation.


“That’s why we need to foster a more widespread and sustainable culture of giving to support charities that are squeezed from all sides. Government can set the tone by committing to drawing up a national strategy for philanthropy and charitable giving, ideally as part of a renewed approach to the whole of civil society in every part of the UK.”