UK donors increase planned giving
Comprehensive research into UK charitable giving habits has revealed that more people are giving via regular donations and other planned giving, while cash donations to charities fell in 2007/08.
UK Giving 2008, published this week by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), shows that cash donations to charity fell by £367m, from £1.7bn in 2006/07 to £1.3bn in 2007/08.
However, the mean average monthly amount given by donors increased from £29 in 2006/07 to £32.83 in 2007/08. In a typical month 56% (28m) of the UK public donated.
"The increasing generosity of the British public shown in UK Giving over this period is especially encouraging given the challenging times ahead,” said John Low, Chief Executive of CAF.
The survey of 3,322 UK adults, carried out in June and October 2007 and February 2008, shows that despite the large fall in the amount of “loose change” donated to charity, cash donations are still the most popular way to give, with 47% of donors giving in this way.
Significantly however, methods of planned giving, such as direct debit, payroll giving or membership fees, also continued to rise, which is good news for charities. Donations made by direct debit rose from £2.4bn to £2.5bn, and the amount given by payroll giving increased from £88m to £96m.
More women still tend to give than men (58% last year), although giving by men rose slightly, from 48% to 51%. In contrast, women gave a mean annual average of £354 compared with £442 from men, a rise on last year.
One in 12 donors gave over £100 a month, accounting for 51% of all donations. Just over half of high-level donors are men and 45% of these are aged 45-64 years.
Medical research remained the most popular cause in terms of the proportion of donors that support the cause, but religious charities have now overtaken medical research as the most popular in terms of the amount of money given.
“A significant majority of the population will continue to support charities through periods of economic boom and bust,” said Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO. “At the end of the day, people's donations are supporting causes: and it remains the case that giving to charities is the most direct, effective way to address the social problems that people encounter both within their local communities and beyond.”
The report is available on the CAF website.