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.

Source: CAF UK Giving 2018: An Overview of Charitable Giving in the UK