U.K. Charitable Giving is Up

Donations made by the UK public to charity rose by £400 million last year to a total of £10.6bn. The figures were published last week by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in UK Giving 2010, the most comprehensive research into the UK’s charitable giving habits.

The research found the number of people giving has also risen to 56 per cent, an increase of two percentage points on the previous year. However, the total amount given has not yet returned to the pre-recession peak of 2007/8, when charities received £11.3 billion in charitable donations when adjusted for inflation.

Medical research continues to be the most popular cause to support both in terms of the number of donors giving (32 per cent of donors) and the total amount given (17 per cent of all money donated). This is followed by children and young people’s charities which are supported by 25 per cent of donors. The survey also shows a surge in donations to overseas causes (24 per cent of donors compared with 15 or 16 per cent in the previous three years), which could be influenced by the well-supported Haiti earthquake appeal

Cash is still the most common way to give, with half of all donors (50 per cent) giving in this way. But growth in usage of the important Gift Aid scheme appears to be slow, with 40 per cent of donors ticking the box compared to 39 per cent last year.

Other key findings include:

  • The typical median amount given per donor has risen by £2 to £12 in 2009/10. This increase is notable as it had remained steady at £10 for the previous five years.
  • Women aged 45-64 are the most likely group to give (68 per cent), and young men aged 16-24 the least likely (31 per cent). More than three in every five women (61 per cent) donated money to charity in 2009/10 compared with just over half of men (52 per cent).

A full copy of UK Giving 2010 can be downloaded from the NCVO website.