Rugby fans are more generous than footie fans

3 October 2015

Rugby fans are more likely to give to charity than football fans, new research published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) today reveals.

Three out of four rugby fans said they had donated to charity in the last year and more than four out of 10 fans said they had donated in the last month.

The poll found football fans are less likely to give than the average Brit with only six out of 10 fans donating to charity over the past year.

Only a third of football fans said they had donated money in the previous month – also lower than Brits on the whole.  

Amy Clarke, Head of Private Clients at CAF, said: "Rugby has a strong culture of philanthropy.

"With the start of the World Cup, fans have a lot to be excited about and it is great that so many of them are sparing a thought for causes off the pitch as well as on them.

"Sports stars capture the world's attention and it is fantastic that increasing numbers of the world's leading stars are using this profile to support good causes.

"They are not just donating their wealth but also using their status to increase awareness of the causes they wish to support.

“Giving by sports stars is having a positive influence on fans, inspiring them to donate to charities."

Pundit and former rugby star Brian Moore said: “Rugby's foundations lie in the community.

“The generosity of our fans is something we can all be proud of."

Liam O’Reilly from England Rugby’s official charity, the Injured Players Foundation, said: “Our fundraising within local rugby clubs raised over £100,000 last year, and we are hoping that fans and community rugby clubs will continue their fantastic support during the upcoming tournament.

 “The rugby family is a generous one – and it is great to see fans making such a difference to people in need.”

The average donation from  both rugby and football fans was a £10.

But while rugby fans win the charitable battle against football lovers, fans of athletics are most likely to have given to charity over the past year.

Figures show that eight out of 10 athletics fans donated money to charity over the past year  - beating  rugby, tennis, cricket and football fans.

The research found that cricket fans gave the largest average donations in the previous month of £15.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 will see 48 matches played in 12 match venues across England and in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.  

It is on track to be the biggest tournament to date with a total of 2.45 million tickets and over 400,000 international visitors expected to be welcomed to the UK.


  Donated to charity in the last year (%)
 Donated to charity in the last 4 weeks (%)
Average sum donated*
 Football  60.9  32.4  £10
 Cricket  71.7  35.7  £15
 Tennis  73.8  47.1  £13
 Rugby  75.9  43.0  £10
 Athletics  79.1  43.7  £10.52

*in previous 4 weeks

Data collection: 1, 069 face-to-face interviews carried out by  market researchers GfK NOP  over 6th - 11th August 2015.

CAF’s UK Giving Survey published in April 2015 presented an overview of charitable giving in 2014. Data was collected in February, May, August and November 2014 through 5,068 face-to-face interviews. It found that 64% of people had donated money to charity over the previous year and 40% had donated over the previous 4 weeks.

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a leading international charity registered in the UK, with ten offices covering six continents. The charity’s mission is to motivate society to give ever more effectively and help transform lives and communities around the world. 

CAF Philanthropy Services works with individuals, families, and businesses to optimize their philanthropic impact through the provision of advisory and transactional related products and services.  CAF is the UK market leader in managing philanthropic capital with over £1.1 billion held in custody for donors.

RFU Injured Players Foundation works to prevent serious rugby injuries through research and education, and supports players at all levels of the game on the very rare occasions when they do happen. .

For average donation – the median was used. The median is the middle score of an ordered set of data.

Back to top