Public are less likely to cut charitable donations than other areas of spending – research

3 February 2013

Donations to charity are less likely to be cut back than other areas of spending, even in these tough economic times for British households, according to new research.

More people expect to cut spending on takeaways, clothes, holidays and going for a drink than to reduce their donations to charitable causes, according to a survey commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation, (CAF) which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations.

Over the next 12 months, 26% of people who give money to charity say that they expect to cut their spending on charitable donations. The only other areas that a smaller proportion say that they expect to reduce their spending on are groceries (17%) and watching or participating in sport (24%).

However, only 12% of charity donors say that they are likely to increase their charity donations in the next year, the lowest proportion for any type of spending tested.

The survey, by pollsters ComRes, found:

  • Going out for a drink (37%) is the expense that the greatest proportion of people expect to decrease their spending on over the next 12 months, followed by eating out or buying takeaways (36%) and holidays (32%).
  • Nearly one in three (31%) people expect to decrease their spending on clothes, while 31% expect to reduce their spend on leisure activities such as going to the cinema, bingo or the theatre.

2,013 British adults were asked whether their spending across a number of areas was likely to increase or decrease over the next 12 months. The results exclude those who say they do not currently spend money on each category and do not intend to do so over the next 12 months.

Paul Rees, Executive Director of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Even in tough times, people are extremely reluctant to cut the generous support they give to for the causes we all care about.

“Britain is one of the most generous nations on earth, but it’s still very worrying that so many people expect to reduce their donations in the next 12 months. If that happens, charities and the causes they support will suffer.

“It’s never been more important for Government, businesses and individuals to Back Britain’s Charities by giving regularly if they can and using the Gift Aid system to make every pound count for good causes.”

Last month, CAF launched the Back Britain’s Charities campaign with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) which calls on the Government, businesses and the public to get behind the nation’s charitable organisations.

ComRes interviewed 2,013 adults in Great Britain online from 12th to 14th December 2012.  Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables are available at

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