13 November 2012
Donations to charity fell by 20% in real terms during 2011/12.
The public gave £1.7bn less to charity than the previous year,
according to the longest-running and most authoritative annual
study of giving across the United Kingdom.
The number of people giving to charity has declined and the amounts
they gave also fell, according to the UK Giving 2012
report, compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the
National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).
Today (Tuesday 13 November) CAF and NCVO launch a campaign to Back
Britain’s Charities, aimed at ensuring that the vital work of
charities is not damaged by this worrying fall in giving.
The report, based on a survey of more than 3,000 people by the
Office for National Statistics, found the total amount given to
charities by people across the UK fell from £11bn to £9.3bn during
2011/12 – a cash fall of £1.7bn, and the largest in the survey’s
eight year history. Adjusted for inflation, this fall in donations
The average (median) amount people gave each month fell from £11 to
£10 last year and was down from an average of £12 a month in
Key findings include:
- Total donations fell by 15% in cash terms and 20% in real terms
(i.e. adjusted for inflation) between 2010/11 and 2011/12.
- Estimated total donations to charity were £9.3bn, down £1.7bn
on 2010/11 in cash terms and £2.3bn in real terms (i.e. adjusted
- The proportion of people donating to charitable causes in a
typical month fell from 58% to 55% in the past year.
- The average (median) amount given per donor in a typical
month fell from £11 in 2010/11 to £10 in 2011/2012
- 28.4 million people gave to charity, more than half of all UK
- Medical research, hospitals and hospices, and children and
young people are the most popular causes among donors, but
religious causes received the largest average donations.
- Women continue to be more likely to give to charity than men,
with 58% of women giving to charity in a typical month compared
with 52% of men.
- Cash is the most common form of giving (over 50%) in
2011/2012. Direct debit accounts for 31% of the total
amount donated, an increase of 6% from 2010/2011.
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“The drop in giving shown by our survey is deeply worrying for
those charities which rely on donations to provide vital frontline
services. Combined with public spending cuts this represents a
potentially severe blow for many charities.
“We hope the fall in giving shown in our survey is a temporary
decline and not the start of a damaging trend. If donations
continue to fall, many charities will face profound difficulties
carrying on their work and the people and communities they serve
“Britain remains one of the world’s most generous nations. But cash
is tight for everyone and people are finding it harder and harder
to find money to give to charity. It is vital that Government,
businesses and the public Back Britain’s Charities so they survive
and carry on their work in these tough times.”
Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of the National Council for
Voluntary Organisations, said: “I am very worried that fewer people
are giving to charity. Charities are already being squeezed
by greater needs, cuts in funding and rising costs.
“I know people want to help when they can and I know that they can
make a difference. If I could ask one thing, I’d ask people to
commit to regular donations through direct debit, and give using
Gift Aid, so charities can plan properly. We cannot afford to lose
the services charities provide.”
Charities provide a range of vital services across the country,
supporting many of the most vulnerable people and making a real
difference to people’s lives. The report says that these
remain difficult times for many charities, particularly small and
medium sized organisations who we suspect may be disproportionately
affected by reductions in giving.
Many charities are not in the fortunate position of holding
reserves. Faced with falling donations and public spending
cutbacks, those that do are having to dip into them to keep meeting
the needs of their beneficiaries. The report says that some
are having to close front-line services, some are having to make
redundancies and some face closure. It argues that the drop in
donations is a concern for everyone in our society, not just
CAF and NCVO are calling for:
- People to support charities through regular giving, regardless
of how much time or money they can give.
- The Government to modernise and promote Gift Aid and payroll
giving so donations go further.
- The Government to ensure that public bodies do not cut funding
for charities disproportionately when making spending
- Business to support charities either through donations, or
through practical means.
- Charities to work together with the Government to modernise and
improve fundraising and enhance their impact, so that every pound
given goes further towards helping beneficiaries.
Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising
commented “This report shows how important it is for charities to
fundraise effectively to support their vital causes. Campaigns like
this are important to help raise awareness, and hopefully more
money, for causes across the UK.”
For more information please contact a member of our Media team, or for the
National Council for Voluntary Organisations' Press Office call 020
7520 2469/ 07507 558 597 or email Clarinda.firstname.lastname@example.org.