Report from Cass Business School and University of Bristol says 0.4 per cent of household spending went to charity in 2008, as in 1988.
The New State of Donations: three decades of household giving to charity 1978-2008 uses data from the Office of National Statistics’ Living Costs and Food survey. It says that in 2008 households gave an average of 0.4 per cent of their spending to charity – exactly the same as in 1988.
The report says giving has been relatively recession-proof: the value of giving in real terms has typically grown during times of economic growth but has not fallen at the same rate as the economy during recessions.
It says that the long-term decline in the proportion of households giving to charity came to a halt in 2000. Thirty-two per cent of households gave to charity in 1978. This fell to 25 per cent in 1999, but grew between 2000 and 2008 to 28 per cent “with little evidence of any clear trend”, the report says.
According to the study, there is evidence that the elderly are being increasingly relied on for charitable donations. It says that over-65s accounted for 35 per cent of all donations in 2008, compared with 25 per cent in 1978.