The Charities Aid Foundation has recently published a report on UK Giving – the largest study of philanthropic behaviour in the UK, which involved interviews with over 12,000 people. It provides a fascinating insight into patterns of giving and how these have changed over time.
The key findings for individual giving in the UK during 2017 were:
- The total amount given to charity increased to £10.3 billion – however, this is driven by fewer people giving more
- The number of people who gave to charity either via donations or by sponsoring someone decreased from the previous year – led by the decrease in sponsorship
- November and December were the peak months for donations to charity, while June was the peak month for sponsoring someone
- The most common way of being asked to donate is being approached on the street
- Full-time students and those working part-time are most likely to volunteer
- The top cause donated to was medical research
- One-fifth of total donations go to religious causes
- Despite innovation in charitable giving over the years, cash remains the main way in which people give, although the level has decreased slightly in 2017
- Women remain more likely than men to participate in charitable and social activity, though the gap is widening rather than narrowing between the two groups
- Trust in charity remains an issue with no movement since 2016, with 50% agreeing that charities are trustworthy. Men in particular are most likely to disagree that charities are trustworthy.