Fewer people giving to charities than in 2016, major new report reveals

The number of people giving money to charity has seen a steady decline between 2016 and 2018, a new report has revealed.

The finding forms part of the UK Giving Report 2019, the largest annual study of giving behaviour in the UK.

Published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), this year’s analysis is based on the responses of more than 12,000 individuals, including stakeholders, charity trustees and the general public.

According to the key findings of the report, the proportion of people giving money to charity either by donating or via sponsorship has decreased over the past three years, from 69 per cent in 2016 to 65 per cent in 2018.

However, those that do give money are giving larger amounts. Therefore, the total amount of money given to charity in 2018 remains “largely the same as 2017” at £10.1 billion.

The report suggests that the decline in the actual number of people giving may be because of reduced trust in charitable organisations. According to the report, trust in charities “decreased significantly” since 2016, from 51 per cent to less than half (48 per cent) in 2016.

The UK Giving Report also looks at the giving habits and fundraising preferences of donors. For example, in 2018, children and young people and animal welfare organisations topped the list of causes people say they are most likely to donate to.

Likewise, November and December unsurprisingly topped the list of months in which people are most likely to give to a charity.

However, fewer people say they have been approached directly to donate money than in previous years, suggesting that charities are relying on different channels of fundraising.

Commenting on the figures, Susan Pinkney, head of research at CAF said: “With three years’ worth of data, we can now see a clear trend in people’s charitable giving and it is headed in a worrying direction.

“If people lack trust, that means they worry that their hard-earned money is not being well spent when donated to charities.

“This is a challenge that the entire charity sector needs to tackle head-on and find ways to inspire people to give and demonstrate to them that their money is making a difference.”

To access the UK Giving Report 2019 in full, please click here.

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